Whether to shut off those who can't pay water bill - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Whether to shut off those who can't pay water bill

By Rob Wiercinski - bio | email

Posted by Lisa Strawbridge - email

TOLEDO (WTOL) - The city of Toledo's water service is becoming a source of controversy as a union leader speaks out about the mayor's policy on people who don't pay their bills.

The water continues to flow in the city of Toledo. During the winter, it even flowed for those not paying their bills. A letter obtained by News 11 from the mayor to the public utilities director ordered crews to leave everyone's water on. The head of AFSCME Local 7 says the threat of a shut off is the only way for some to pay up.

"When crews pull up on the job, there's already people coming out with cash in hand wanting to give to the crews," said Don Czerniak with Local 7.

Czerniak says the mayor's no shut-off policy during the winter needs to be reviewed because compassion is extended to those who experience a sudden financial flow problem.

Czerniak says the situation leaves the city with a utility cash flow dilemma. The city had over a million dollars in outstanding water accounts. "When we're blatantly just letting people go on and on and not paying their bills, we have operating costs in utilities, chemicals and everything else we have to pay. That means we're going to pass the buck on to the payers," said Czerniak.

Copyright 2009 WTOL, a Raycom Media station. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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