Posted By Tom Plahutnik, Web Editor/Producer - email
FLINT, MI (WNEM) -
Flint will be raising the deposit amount on water accounts to rental properties from $100 to $350 beginning this March.
Flint city officials said the deposit will be increased to bring the city in line with the current costs of service as well as fees charged by other Genesee County communities; the current $100 deposit fee falls well below the county average.
With the fee updated to $350, Flint is now in the middle range when compared to other County municipalities and townships.
"When residents don't pay their water bill for months at a time, that cost is passed on to those residents who do pay, and that's just not fair," said Emergency Financial Manager Ed Kurtz. "Our goal by raising the deposit amount to $350 is to recover more of the costs associated with non-payments, shutoffs and those who vacate their rental properties without paying."
When a property owner does not pay a water bill and service is shut off, the balance of their bill is placed on their property tax roll; however, there is currently no effective system of collecting on water affidavits that are not in the property owner's name.
Officials said a water shutoff, or the threat of a shutoff, is usually an effective motivator for residents with delinquent accounts to pay; however, there is still a large number of renters who vacate a rental property without requesting proper shutoff of their service.
The result is an increase to the cost of water for all customers to recover the unpaid balances.
There are approximately 5,000 water affidavits for rental properties in Flint with approximately $2.8 million owed from just those affidavits.
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