Water Department starting new billing policy

It's pay-up time for water bills or face having your service shut off.

It’s pay-up time for water bills or face having your service shut off.



By Charles Sercombe

          Starting this month, city water bills will be going out once a month.

          The first monthly bills should be mailed to each household by the end of March.

          Emergency Manager Cathy Square said there was a combination of reasons to switch billing from every three months to monthly: cut down on the number of delinquent bills, make it less of a financial hit to households and create more cash flow for the city.

          Hamtramck has had a serious problem with households falling way behind in paying water bills. As it stands now, there is $400,000 owed to the city that is over 60 days due.

          The city is also cracking down on people who have been allowed to pay back delinquent water bills on a payment plan. Square said most of those on a payment plan have failed to live up to their agreement.

          As a result, the city is moving aggressively to shut off water service. Those who received a water shut-off notice recently have until March 14 to pay up.

          Square said that while there is no written policy on hardship cases, in the past the water department has allowed for special payment options. Square said she is reviewing what’s been done in the past and will be drawing up a written policy for consistency.

          This isn’t the first time the city has cracked down on deadbeats. Last July, Square announced immediate water shut-offs to a number of households who were hundreds and thousands of dollars behind in payments.

          The city’s action spurred a rush to city hall, where homeowners lined up to pay late bills to avoid a shut-off, or in many instances to turn their service back on.

One Response to Water Department starting new billing policy

  1. Jenny Nolastname

    March 10, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I disagree with your changing the billing ONLY IF YOU ARE GOING TO BE ADDING AN “ADMINISTRATIVE FEE” TO MY ALREADY TOO HIGH WATER BILL, since you’ll now have to have someone do the billing every month! I notice you didn’t mention anything about that in your message.

    Also, “The first monthly bills should be mailed to each household by the end of March.” (plural “bills”) So we will get three separate bills for Jan-Feb-Mar 2014 – I bet with the same “DUE DATE” right? So to crack down on the deadbeats and delinquents we all HAVE NO CHOICE but to change. If the water department had been cracking down LONG BEFORE folks became THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS PAST DUE maybe our city wouldn’t be in this financial mess!

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