The additional three–month grace period given to Ishpeming residents who have past–due water bills is coming to an end.
While the statewide ban on water shutoffs due to COVID-19 ended on March 31st, Ishpeming extended that period.
However, City Manager Craig Cugini announced in a press conference today that residents whose bills are more than 60 days past–due will have until July 9th to settle their fees. After that, water will be shut off and accounts will begin to amass late fees.
“It is not fair for a taxpayer and billpayer to absorb free water for someone that isn’t paying their bills,” said Cugini. “On the other hand, we are compassionate,” he added. “We will work with everyone to try and figure it out.”
The City of Ishpeming estimates between 50 and 100 households that have water bills that are more than 60 days past–due.
Cugini added that last year, approximately 100 thousand dollars was added to the city’s tax roll because of the grace period. He estimates it to be nearer to 300 thousand dollars this year.
The City Manager’s Office emphasized that residents’ awareness of deadlines and resources is one of their primary concerns.
“What we don’t want to do is have customers not know there’s programs to help, or to know there’s programs and just ignore.”