Michigan city to resume water shutoffs halted by pandemic

May 25, 2021 GMT

SAGINAW, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan city plans to resume water shutoffs that had been discontinued for more than a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Saginaw fiscal services staff have been attempting to contact customers who are behind on their water and sewer payments ahead of the shutoffs slated to begin June 15, the city said Tuesday in a release.

Customers with delinquent accounts are asked to make payment arrangements or seek assistance with their water bills.

“This is an issue where there are no easy answers,” Saginaw Finance Director Lori Brown said. “We want to make sure our citizens are aware of the June 15 date for water shutoffs. Financial assistance is available, and we will do all we can to work with our customers through this process.”

Saginaw suspended water shutoffs in March 2020.

President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion rescue aid package, enacted into law this month, includes $5 billion earmarked for people who need help with power and water bills.

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Saginaw is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Detroit. Detroit, Michigan’s largest city, has said it was extending water shut-off protections through 2022.

State, federal and philanthropic funds will allow the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department to help residents who can’t pay to maintain service.