Credit will provide relief to residents on future water bills
Friday, Feb. 26, 2016
FLINT, Mich. – Flint residents will receive credits on their water bills for water they could not drink from the $30 million budget supplemental signed today by Gov. Rick Snyder.
“Flint residents should not have to pay for water they cannot drink,” Snyder said. “This credit will reimburse residents for payments made since April 2014 for the portion of water used for drinking, bathing and cooking. Making the water that comes out of the tap in Flint safe to drink again is the top priority. In addition, this credit will provide some financial relief to residents who have been dealing firsthand with this issue.”
Senate Bill 136, which was approved unanimously by the Legislature, will provide Flint families with credits for the portion of their water bill used for drinking, bathing and cooking. Credits can be applied to the full water portion of future bills, but residents will still be responsible for the sewer portion. Credit amounts will reflect rates paid at the time of billing.
The credit is designed to be applied to water bills until the water in Flint is determined safe for drinking by state, federal and independent water quality officials. For residents who have left the Flint water system, the credit will be applied first to outstanding water and sewer charges. If a credit remains, the customer will be issued a refund.
For customers who are behind on paying their water bills, unpaid charges for drinking, bathing and cooking as well as late fees will be dropped. Residents would need to set up a plan with the city to pay outstanding bills for the remainder of the water portion that is not covered under this plan, as well as sewer charges.
For commercial water accounts, a 20-percent credit will be applied to water bills.
None of the $30 million allocated may be used for administrative charges. To calculate and administer the credits, the City of Flint is developing a program which will be implemented in a few weeks.
This credit plan brings the state’s total investment in solving the water crisis in Flint to $70 million in its effort to help the city move forward, including $6 million to reconnect the city’s water supply to the Great Lakes Water Authority.
The bill is now Public Act 24 of 2016.