By Charles Sercombe
Get ready to pay for water and sewer services on a monthly basis.
The city is switching from billing households every three months to every 30 days. In this way, the city will be able to keep cash coming in more frequently and avoid water service users from falling way behind on payments.
Detroit and a number of other communities have been collecting water fees every month for a number of years.
Cheryl Karpinski, the city’s Water Department Supervisor, said homeowners should welcome the changeover because leaks can now be detected sooner.
It’s not uncommon, she said, that houses spring leaks and after three months homeowners “get hit with a huge bill.”
The city is switching over its payment system and hopes to have it in place by sometime in January. The city is also setting up a method to make payments online.
The Water Department is also moving its office in city hall to a space inside the Income Tax Department, which is located on the lower floor of city hall.
By paying monthly, homeowners should note that missed payments will lead to earlier water service shutoffs.
In the past, the city has allowed bills to go unpaid for months. Last summer an aggressive campaign was waged to collect several hundred of thousands of dollars owed the city by doing massive shut-offs.
It worked. Hundreds of homeowners flooded city hall to make payments, and dozens of households had their water service abruptly shut off.