JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) — The City of Jackson is using COVID-19 relief funs to help residents take care of their unpaid water bills.
About 2,200 residential water customers are behind on paying bills due to the financial hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Jackson City Council has distributed a total of $246,000 to the Water Shutoff Protection Program using federal COVID-19 relief funds. The program is open to low-income City of Jackson residents with unpaid water bills.
Without the program, people who do not pay their water bills on time would have their water shut off.
With 14,426 water customers in the system, an estimated 5% of customers are severely behind on paying water bills.
The City of Jackson has implemented a moratorium on water shutoffs in the City since the pandemic started in March 2020.
While the City is not currently performing shutoffs, it’s important for residents to know that charges for water usage are still accumulating and residents continue to be responsible for paying them.
How to get help
The first step for getting assistance is contacting Utility Billing by calling 517-788-4082 or emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org. From there, customers can find out how much they owe, resolve their payment, or be referred to the Community Action Agency (CAA) for assistance. The City is working with CAA to administer its Water Shutoff Protection Program. CAA says it has assisted 40 local households with unpaid water bills, paying off a total of $15,000 in bills.
Hundreds of Jackson residents with unpaid water bills saw some relief from the State of Michigan last December. COVID-19 relief funds from the State were automatically applied to the accounts of 506 low-income water customers in Jackson, totaling $130,445 in aid.