[Detroit Chief Operating Officer Gary] Brown told the group that the first step is to launch a “media campaign” informing customers of their options before re-starting mass residential shutoffs on May 1. Because of snow and frozen ground, those shutoffs, which increased significantly last spring, had to be curtailed during the winter months. In all, more than 33,000 customers had their water service cut last year.
The plan described in the meeting minutes, a copy of which was obtained by the ACLU of Michigan, anticipates first targeting three groups: customers who have previous have service shutoff and illegally turned it back on, commercial accounts and customers who use at least 10 times as much water as the average Detroit residential customer.
Once those targets have been hit, [Detroit Chief Operating Officer Gary] Brown told the group, contractors would begin shutting off service to roughly 28,000 residential customers in Detroit who are more than two months behind in payments, or owe more than $150.
“The goal is to change culture regarding responsibility to pay for service,” according to the meeting notes.
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