The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department's controversial push to shut off water has taken a new turn.
Joel Kurth of the Detroit News reports that the department is suspending water shut-offs for 15 days starting Monday to give customers an opportunity to make payment arrangements.
Department spokesman Bill Johnson emphasized that the move is not a concession in the political battle that has gotten international attention, the News reports.
“This is a pause. This is not a moratorium,” he said. “We are pausing to give an opportunity to customers who have trouble paying their bills to come in and make arrangements with us. We want to make sure we haven’t missed any truly needy people.”
The News reports that roughly half of Detroit’s water customers are behind in paying their bills and face possible shutoffs.
The city is expected to tell U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes today about the new arrangement. Rhodes was bothered by the cutoffs and the publicity it was generating for the city.