Akron residents struggling to pay water and sewer bills will get a break this holiday season: The city will stop water service disconnections until next month.
Akron is under a federal court order to improve its water and sewer system infrastructure — a project that comes with a $1 billion price tag, said Press Secretary Ellen Lander-Nischt.
“That’s caused us to have to raise water and sewer rates over the years to some pretty high levels,” Lander-Nischt said. “It is a significant expense for families in Akron and we understand that.”
While the moratorium on water service disconnections is a temporary solution, she said the city is working with the state and federal government to find other options to help residents facing high water and sewer costs.
The city already has some water assistance programs that work in conjunction with other existing utility discounts, Lander-Nischt said, such as lower rates for senior citizens using the homestead tax exemption and low-income residents already eligible for the Ohio Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).
The moratorium halts all water disconnections due to non-payment until Jan. 6, 2020.