FLINT, Mich. — Mayor Karen Weaver’s administration announced today that the City Attorney and Chief Financial Officer have worked with Flint City Council to help restore service to water customers who have had their service disconnected due to non-payment.
“This is a compromise the City will implement on a trial basis,” Hughey Newsome, Chief Financial Officer for Flint. “This process will be in place for the next 60 days effective immediately. We hope that this will allow more residents to get their utility accounts reactivated and maintained,” Newsome stated in a press release issued March 13.
City Council adopted a resolution for the new trial program late Monday night. It states that, when a consumer’s water service is shut off, the first time the consumer may pay their current bill, plus 10% of the outstanding balance, along with the reconnection fees to have service restored.
Consumers who have their service discontinued a second time due to non-payment, must pay their current bill, plus 25% of the total outstanding balance, and the reconnection fees to have service restored.
“I hope residents see that we are willing to work with them on what I know is a very sensitive matter,” said Mayor Weaver. “This is just one option being explored to make sure we are taking care of the business of the city, while also doing what we can to ensure that safe and affordable water is provided to the people of Flint.”
“We have to work together, everyone has to do their part,” added Newsome. “I don’t think anyone wants the City to go back into Emergency Management. In order to prevent that, we must show the state that we can be fiscally responsible, and also meet the needs of the residents.”
When the trial period is over, officials will review the data to determine if the program has been effective and then decide how to move forward. Utility customers with financial hardships are urged to visit the Customer Service Center at Flint City Hall to discuss payment options with a representative. Customers with questions can also call the Customer Service Center at (810) 766-7015.