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Flint, MI– Since late 2021, the city of Flint has shut off the water for 26 residential accounts with old water meters.
Twenty-three of those accounts were for occupied residences, and three were vacant.
For the past few months, the city has sent out notices to residents saying they need to update their water meters, and that those who don’t make an appointment to have their old water meter replaced would have their water shut off.
According to the city’s Director of Communications Melissa Brown, there have been 207 meter changes in January alone.
Brown said “residents are encouraged to respond to the notices to make arrangements regarding their water meter upgrades.”
Recently, members of the Flint City Council pushed back against the city pursuing water shut-offs for those who don’t get their meter replaced during a pandemic, especially after reports of some workers not wearing masks, and proper personal protective equipment.
“This is not the time to even be going into people’s homes, changing out meters, and particularly our senior population,” said Councilwoman Jerri Winfrey-Carter. “I have senior citizens in my ward, and they do not want anyone coming into their homes right now.”
Councilwoman Ladel Lewis said she sent a letter to the administration urging them to reconsider the water shut offs.
“With the surge of the Omicron variant, our residents need water for sanitation purposes,” Lewis said, reading her letter during the meeting on Jan. 25.
On Jan. 10, City Treasurer Amanda Trujillo told the council that the city’s goal was not to shut off people’s water.
“We want to change their meter. That is the goal,” Trujillo said.
Residents who want to make an appointment to have their meter replaced, or have questions about this, or their water account, can call the customer service department at (810) 766-7015.