Action could be taken against businesses not paying water bills - WNEM TV 5

Action could be taken against businesses not paying water bills in Flint

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

For a city still plagued by the ongoing water crisis, unpaid water bills could be leading to bigger problems.

The water relief program is giving water customers in Flint a credit on their bills courtesy of the state. However, some commercial customers are taking advantage and residents could pay the price.

"I do not think we should have to pay for it. It's not our responsibility that the water system got messed up," said Jacqueline Shook-Dunn, Flint business owner.

She said residents and commercial businesses should not have to pay for their water in Flint. She was at City Hall on Monday trying to right some wrongs on her water bill.

"We weren't using the water, but still we are still paying a ridiculous amount. You still have to pay whether you use it or not," Shook-Dunn said.

Flint Mayor Karen Weaver said some businesses are using their water and not paying up and that's another problem.

"We had almost a million dollars worth of bills that have not been paid and they were commercial customers," Weaver said.

She said places like Lapeer Gardens Property, which is a Flint apartment complex, owes the city more than $360,000. That is a major issue to Weaver because the tenants are using the water and paying their rent, but according to Flint city officials the owner won't pay their fare share.

"That's why we said if we have to take legal action and go to court we would do that. The last thing we want to do though is get people out," Weaver said.

City leaders said water shut offs would be a last resort and if property owners refuse to pay their bill and action is taken, officials are working on a plan to help residents that may be affected.

Shook-Dunn said she hopes the city gets it figured out.

"I hope the city gets it together and really soon because it is hurting a lot of people," she said.

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