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City of Toledo ending water shutoff moratorium; local programs offer help paying water bills

Citing the "diminished" threat of COVID, the Toledo Department of Public Utilities will enforce shutoffs for unpaid bills starting Sept. 1.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The city of Toledo will soon end its COVID-19 water shutoff moratorium and resume regular operations.

Citing the "diminished" threat of COVID, the Toledo Department of Public Utilities will enforce shutoffs for unpaid bills starting Sept. 1. Toledo will be the last water utility in Ohio to end its water shutoff moratorium.

Residents with a past-due water balance will still have options for paying their bill.

The city’s debt forgiveness program, which launched Oct. 1, 2021, already has 2,500 customers enrolled. Enrollment will continue until Oct. 1, 2022, for eligible customers who:

  • Live inside the City of Toledo.
  • Have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty level (300% for seniors or disabled customers).
  • Have past due charges of at least $200 (water, sewer, storm water) from prior to Oct. 1, 2021.

Pathway’s Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) has an additional $500,000 available in assistance for eligible customers who:

  • Live inside Lucas County.
  • Have an income at or below 175% of the federal poverty level.
  • Have been disconnected or have received a disconnection notice.

The LIHWAP program ends Sept. 30, 2022.

Once they apply, Pathway can see how much a person owes and pledge money toward their water bill, city spokeswoman Cindy Geronimo said.

Pathway's Director of Emergency and Empowerment Services, Claudia Rodriguez-Salazar, said the program has helped over 500 families.

"But we still have plenty of funding and we're still here to help," she said. "There is assistance and there is help out here and we have money to help alleviate those costs."  

Residents who don’t qualify for those assistance programs may enroll in a payment plan to prevent water shutoff.

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