Detroit targets businesses' overdue water bills - New York News

Detroit targets businesses' overdue water bills

Posted: Updated:
  • Detroit Water Bill CrisisMore>>

  • Water shutoff protests amid water delivery from Canada

    Water shutoff protests amid water delivery from Canada

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:30 PM EDT2014-07-24 23:30:25 GMT
    Our neighbors across the Detroit River are now getting involved in the Detroit water shutoff debate.
    Our neighbors across the Detroit River are now getting involved in the Detroit water shutoff debate.
  • The two sides of the Detroit water bill crisis

    The two sides of the Detroit water bill crisis

    Thursday, July 24 2014 4:59 PM EDT2014-07-24 20:59:57 GMT
    As the city of Detroit advances through its historic bankruptcy, focus has shifted to the water department's controversial efforts to collect unpaid water bills.
    As the city of Detroit advances through its historic bankruptcy, focus has shifted to the water department's controversial efforts to collect unpaid water bills.
  • Detroit water department checking for illegal hookups amid halted shutoffs

    Detroit water department checking for illegal hookups amid halted shutoffs

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:13 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:13:20 GMT
    Water shutoffs are on hold but not for scofflaws. Over the next two weeks Detroit Water and Sewerage Department contractors will check up on roughly 9,000 homes where the water was shut off for illegal hookups.
    Water shutoffs are on hold but not for scofflaws. Over the next two weeks Detroit Water and Sewerage Department contractors will check up on roughly 9,000 homes where the water was shut off for illegal hookups.
DETROIT (AP) -- The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is putting businesses on notice that it will shut off water service if they don't pay their bills following recent efforts to crack down on residential customers who are in arrears.
 
The department plans to send warning letters this week to about 200 commercial and industrial customers with accounts listed as more than 60 days overdue, including a golf business and a cemetery, The Detroit News reported Wednesday.
 
Active commercial and industrial sites account for about one-third of the $90 million in past-due bills that the department says it is owed. The top 40 on that list, according to the department, have past-due accounts ranging from around $35,000 to more than $430,000.
 
"All we're doing is taking enforcement action to protect the integrity of the system," said Bill Johnson, a department spokesman. "We have not been very aggressive in cutting off water over the years. We admit that. The people will pay their bill when they're forced to pay their bill.
 
"Part of it is our fault. We've never had a strict enforcement policy on paying the bills."
 
The department in March announced plans to crack down on residential customers, leading to thousands of shutoffs and prompting protests from longtime Democratic U.S. Rep. John Conyers of Detroit and others who want water service restored to those homes.
 
More than 22,700 accounts in the city are listed as commercial or industrial. The department said they collectively owe $33.8 million.
 
One owner of a Warren real estate group that owes more than $80,000 said the problem with its account stems from a tenant.
 
"The property doesn't have active water on the site -- not even a meter," said Michael Samhat, president of Crown Enterprises Inc. "We're not sure how this bill got generated. Right now, we're working with the tenant trying to help them and we want to work with the city of Detroit water department."
 
The News and the Detroit Free Press reported that the water department has unveiled a $1 million program to help low-income residents pay their water bills. The program is funded by a voluntary program that takes 50 cents from each paying residential customer's bill, along with varying amounts from commercial customers, the department said.
 
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, following a Tuesday news conference, said the delinquent water bills "could have been handled in a far more sensitive way."
 
"We should have had funds for those who genuinely can't pay set up ahead of time," Duggan told reporters. "We should have had more rigorous notices before we saw people turning off water."

  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Summit at City Hall on police-community relations

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:06 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:06:56 GMT
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City is at the center of a summit being held on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders are attending the round table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
    Ways to improve the relationship between the NYPD and communities in New York City is at the center of a summit being held on Thursday. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Rev. Al Sharpton, city officials and community leaders are attending the round table. Accusations of police brutality and the death of a man under arrest for selling un-taxed cigarettes on Staten Island prompted the discussion.
  • Falling debris from Midtown building

    Falling debris from Midtown building

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:19 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:19:35 GMT

    Emergency personnel are responding to falling debris from a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan. West 57th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues is closed. SkyFoxHD was overhead where pieces of glass could be seen on the ground and a window shattered. Two people were hit by the falling glass at about 8:45 a.m. and were taken to Roosevelt Hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

    Emergency personnel are responding to falling debris from a high-rise building in Midtown Manhattan. West 57th St. between 5th and 6th Avenues is closed. SkyFoxHD was overhead where pieces of glass could be seen on the ground and a window shattered. Two people were hit by the falling glass at about 8:45 a.m. and were taken to Roosevelt Hospital with minor injuries, according to police.

  • Arrest in attack on teen in elevator

    Arrest in attack on teen in elevator

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:24 AM EDT2014-07-31 13:24:13 GMT
    Two thugs were caught on security camera footage beating a teenager and stealing from her inside an apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.  The NYPD says the attackers are seen dragging the 18-year-old out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her.
    Police have arrested one of two suspects wanted in the brutal attack of a teenager inside her apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. The thugs were caught on security camera footage beating the 18-year-old at about 9:34 on Sunday night. The attackers are seen dragging the girl out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her. Tyler Hopping, 18, was arrested on Wednesday.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • 24-year-old women is $66 million jackpot winner

    24-year-old women is $66 million jackpot winner

    Thursday, July 31 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-07-31 15:26:09 GMT
    The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.
    The Michigan Lottery says a Port Huron woman is the winner of a $66 million Mega Millions jackpot that was drawn in mid-June.Kelsey Zachow says in a statement that she "could barely breathe" when she learned she was the winner.
  • Winner of $66 Million Mega Millions Jackpot to be Announced

    Winner of $66 Million Mega Millions Jackpot to be Announced

    Thursday, July 31 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-07-31 14:31:30 GMT
    Michigan Lottery news conference to announce the winner of the $66 million Mega Millions jackpot from Friday, June 13, 2014.
    Michigan Lottery news conference to announce the winner of the $66 million Mega Millions jackpot from Friday, June 13, 2014.
  • City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    City of Detroit posts improvement updates online

    Thursday, July 31 2014 7:18 AM EDT2014-07-31 11:18:29 GMT
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
    Residents will be able to view the number of new streetlights installed in their Detroit neighborhood, how many lots were mown and the number of vacant houses demolished by going to the city's website.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices