FLINT, Michigan—Mayor Sheldon Neeley said he would continue to hold off on disconnecting homes in the City of Flint from water due to lack of payment.
“Understanding that the pandemic numbers are still high, we will not leave people defenseless,” Mayor Neeley said.
The statewide moratorium on water shutoffs ends today, March 31, 2021, which has prompted some municipalities to announce that water disconnections will resume again.
As part of the effort to keep water affordable, Mayor Neeley also warned that the City of Flint will be actively pursuing payment and water shutoffs against habitually delinquent commercial water customers.
Those costs, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars, add to the cost of the city’s water and are placing additional burden on residents.
Mayor Sheldon Neeley pledged a 100-day water shutoff moratorium before being elected in November 2019 to allow for a study on water affordability. He remained true to that commitment and continued the moratorium while the City still faces challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his 2020 State of the City address, Mayor Neeley declared water as a human right.
“Water affordability is a nationwide issue in need of a nationwide solution. Water is a human right and no one should be denied access simply because they are poor,” Mayor Neeley said. “This administration will continue to be compassionate to the needs of our community.”
The City of Flint also led the state in reconnecting water users as part of its proactive response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It began offering water reconnections to households more than two weeks before the action was required by the state.
Those customers also will remain connected to the system. The City also continues to pursue a water rate study to develop a more affordable municipal system.
All residents are urged to pay their water bill if they can. Even during a water moratorium, all residents remain responsible for and financially liable for all fees incurred on their water bills.