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Flint to water customers: The bill's not in the mail

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

There’s so much confusion about Flint’s water and sewer rates that the city is suspending mailing bills to the city’s residents.

During the past year, there’s been almost as much happening to Flint’s water and sewer bills as the city’s water pipes.

A judge last year ordered the city to roll back a 2011 and also ruled the current rates were OK.  

The city is trying to collect on some old delinquent accounts. 

And the state has approved $30 million to cover two-thirds of water bills going back to 2014. But how that breaks down for each customer is complicated. 

That’s proved too much for the city’s computers to tabulate. 

Mayor Karen Weaver issued a press release Wednesday saying her staff is making the necessary adjustments, including obtaining the proper computer programs needed to calculate and apply adjustments and credits to the city’s more than 85,000 active and inactive utility accounts on record from April 2014 to the present. 

“The credits are coming,” Weaver said in a written statement. “Flint residents need and deserve this relief. I’ve said from Day One, Flint residents should not have to pay for water they can not and are not using.” 

The city hopes to start mailing water and sewer bills again in April.  

Thousands of people in Flint haven’t been paying their water and sewer bills. Some people don’t pay because they don’t want to pay for water they can’t drink without a lead filter. Others say they can not afford the city’s high water and sewer rates.    

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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