Flint, MI–The State of Michigan’s moratorium on water shutoffs expired on March 31, but Mayor Sheldon Neeley announced that the City of Flint would continue holding off on disconnecting homes from water due to lack of payment. 

The water shutoff restoration act was enacted by the state on Dec. 22, 2020, and created a temporary ban on shutting off water services to any occupied residence due to nonpayment, in order to ensure that people had access to water during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Understanding that the pandemic numbers are still high, we will not leave people defenseless,” Mayor Neeley said in a press release from the City sent out yesterday.

Neeley said the City would be continuing the moratorium, but still “actively pursuing payment and water shutoffs against habitually delinquent commercial water customers,” in order to keep water costs affordable for residents. 

The City is still urging residents to pay their water bill if they can, and according to the release, residents “remain responsible for and financially liable for all fees incurred on their water bills,” even during the moratorium.

According to a report from The Food and Water Watch, Flint residents were paying the highest water bills in the country in 2015.

The City is pursuing a water rate study to develop a more affordable municipal system, according to the press release.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...