January 3, 2017 (FLINT) — Mayor Karen Weaver has learned Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation to extend the Water Relief program in the City of Flint through March 31, 2017, provided Flint complies with the stipulation that it has a 70 percent collection rate on water/sewer bills. If at least 70 percent of the City’s water charges are paid, residential customers will continue to receive a 65 percent credit on the water charges on their utility bill and commercial customers a 20 percent credit as officials on all levels continue efforts to improve the quality of water being provided to homes and businesses in Flint.
Funds for the credits will continue to be provided to the City of Flint through the use of the $12.75 million in relief provided in the current State of Michigan budget. State officials have made it clear that in order for the credits to stay in place the City must show progress that an increasing number of customers are paying their bills as required by the state. State treasury officials previously granted two extensions and acknowledged the progress the City has made through its collection program for commercial customers. In a successful and ongoing effort to meet state guidelines, City officials have been working with customers to increase the collection rate for both commercial and residential utility accounts.
“We are pleased the state has agreed to continue providing the credits to our water customers,” said David Sabuda Flint’s Interim Chief Financial Officer. “We know many wish even more was being done, but we’ll take the help we can get and the savings is appreciated. Now, we ask that our customers help us keep the credits in place as long as possible by paying their bill for the water and sewer services the City has provided. We thank the residential and commercial customers who have complied with the program. Those who have not complied have lost their credits, incurred late charges on their accounts, and are now part of the review process to be placed on the shut off list. Account holders who owe the most and have not made a recent payment will be at the top of the list. This plan is necessary to help the City increase its collection rate and preserve the credit program for all utility customers as Flint continues to recover from the effects of the man-made water crisis.”
Earlier this year, the state provided $30 million in water relief credits. The funds were used to apply credits to customers’ utility accounts for the period of April 2014 through April 2016. Subsequent water relief credits of over $9 million have also been applied to the accounts of residential and commercial customers.
“We are willing to work with residents unable to meet the full terms of their required payment, but Flint City officials must also show the state that our customers are paying for the services we provide,” Sabuda added.
Customers with financial hardships who want to ensure that their credits stay in place and that they are not placed on the shut off list, should come to Flint City Hall to discuss payment options with a representative in the Customer Service Center. Customers can also call the Customer Service Center at (810) 766-7015.