Detroit water department to begin payment aid program after rate hikes, UN complaint

Detroit water department to begin payment aid program after rate hikes, UN complaint

What a mess in Detroit… FYI, according to the Free Press, the average Detroit water bill is now $75 a month — much higher than the nation’s average rate of about $40. For the record, I have never paid a $40 water bill and never will pay a $75 a month water bill especially in Detroit. That’s insane.

DETROIT, MI — An $800,000 program to help low-income Detroiters pay their water bills will be put in place in July after services were cut off from some residents in recent months and complaints were made to a United Nations representative, officials said Tuesday.

With about 90,000 city residents and businesses behind on their water bills, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department in March began more aggressively collecting debt.

In May, about 46,000 notices were delivered to non-paying customers and water was cut off to about 4,500 of them, said DWSD spokesman Gregory Eno.

With 24 hours of the shutoffs, 2,700 of them paid or made arrangements to make payments and had services restored, Eno said.

“This is not an effort to shut peoples water off,” he said. “The effort is to collect that debt and get folks to enter into payment arrangements… DWSD is basically trying to put a dent into the bad debt, i.e. delinquent bills.”

Last week, the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, the Detroit People’s Water Board and the Canada-based Blue Planet Project sent a letter to Catarina de Albuquerque, special rapporteur on the right to safe drinking water and sanitation for the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The letter expressed outrage over the water cutoffs and called the collection effort a “violation of the human right to water and sanitation in the City of Detroit.”


2 responses to “Detroit water department to begin payment aid program after rate hikes, UN complaint

  1. One of the hardest hit areas. Figures. The local politicians can raise utility bills without voting on it here in Auburn WA anyways, therefore raise the taxes without a vote here to the max by higher water, and garbage bills. This is insane. The local governments are trying to take over the wells and water rights. Auburn citizens won for now. However we are paying higher utilitie taxes on the garbage and water and areas the rain can not drain through pavement due to being taxed to the hilt on it to compensate for apparent government corruption. Miss use of our taxes. You will find on land records here, a party purchasing local commercial property for say 300,000.00 then in one case as little as six days later to six months this person whom knows the ex mayor sells the property to the city of Auburn for one million three hundred thousand average. What a whomping profit. The old Masseys grocery store, was purchased for around 385,000.00 a week later sold to Oliphant for a million 385.000.00 then a year later to the City of Auburn for over ten million. Appraised at just over five million after being turned into a new jail. The Huff Crite property purchased at around 300,000.00 six months later purchase by the city for one million threehundred thousand. On and on and on I could go. Looks suspicious does it not. The Auburn Theatre was leased for around 6,000.00 a month for around fifteen years, with a lease that rises each year around 7,000.00 a month by the mayor whom was told not to lease it, that the building was a hazzard and should be torn down. The owner of the building is a campaign raiser for the ex mayor Pete Lewis. Then shortly after the mayor took insurance funds to shore it up after spending over a million of his hidden funds to shore it up, telling the insurance company and the media he never knew the building was in such disrepair. Possibly insurance fraud. The head of planning had informed the mayor not to sigh the lease at the start. A structural engineering company told him it was a hazard and should be torn down. Our tax dollars have been paying for a loss ever since the building was leased. Oliphant purchase the block in front of city hall, which was an entire block of old taverns. The tavern owners bullied out of town, sold cheap to a party that sold the property to the City of Auburn, Oliphant purchased the property from the city and built a huge new building on the property with the guarantee the city would lease half the building until Oliphant leased it all or sold it apparently. Nice guarantee and sweet heart deal ya think? The building has been mostly empty since and city hall is mostly empty, ever since. Around fifty or more tax dollars a month going to waste apparently. The record is on land records. This is my view and opinion of this apparent misappropriation of funds. . I will be back with the structural engineers name.

  2. I meant just the one last issue mentioned above is over a fifty thousand dollar loss a month. Here is the email over a year later, from the head of planning at the time of the now ex mayor signing of the lease. The theatre is not horribly dangerous provided there’s no earthquake or wind storm. The building was stabilized and the worst structural problems dealt with. It still though is not a building I’d want to be in unless it was a summer day and I was sitting close to an exit. I’d advised Pete against entering into a lease until a structural engineer had a chance to evaluate the building. I told Pete it was in really bad shape. He signed the lease anyway. When BCRA’s structural engineer said the building should be torn down, Pete turned white as a ghost. He’d been warned but proceeded against advice of his staff. That’s typical of how the guy operates. He seems to think he’s above the laws of physics.
    This was after the two shoring up jobs on the theater.

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