Detroit Mayor Announces Plan to Help Pay Water Bills

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Detroit, where thousands of residents have faced water shutoffs because of overdue bills, has a new plan to help customers keep up with payments, the mayor said Thursday.

Speaking at City Hall after collaborating with Detroit water officials, Mayor Mike Duggan announced the 10-point plan, which includes waiving turn-on fees and late payment penalties and improving notification for customers in danger of having their water shut off. The plan also includes more vague points, such as "cut red tape." Duggan added that a nonprofit fund that was recently set up to accept donations for struggling customers already has a few hundred thousand dollars in it.

Earlier this week, Detroit — which stopped mass shutoffs for people with unpaid bills amid protests and criticism from levels as high as the United Nations — said it would extend its shutoff suspension for three weeks. Service was halted to about 7,200 homes and businesses in June. The bankrupt city slapped shutoffs on customers who were 60 days behind with bills or who owed more than $150.



—Elizabeth Chuck