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Saginaw, Muskegon to resume shutoffs for unpaid water bills

faucet running water
Marina Shemesh
Public Domain

The city of Muskegon is resuming shutoffs for failure to pay water bills this week, after a statewide pandemic moratorium expired at the end of March.

About 300 to 400 homes are in the first queue for the service shutoffs, a utility spokeswoman said.

Officials in Saginaw say the city will resume water shutoffs on June 15. The city is urging residents facing a shutoff to call 2-1-1 or the state emergency relief fund to get financial help for paying the back due amounts.

Officials in other cities, including Ann Arbor, Lansing, Port Huron, and Warren say they have not yet determined when they will restart shutoff programs, and they plan to reassess the situation later this summer.

Some cities do not shut off water for unpaid bills; Taylor and Brighton, for example, add unpaid water bills to the total owing for property taxes.  

Detroit is trying to do away with water shutoffs for low-income residents altogether. The city does not plan to resume shutoffs until 2023, and by then hopes to have funding to allow impoverished residents to have water service at all times.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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