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Some Toledo water, sewer bill debt may be forgiven

Updated: May. 26, 2021 at 11:10 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Help could be on the way for Toledoans struggling with their water bill. A new measure passed Tuesday by Toledo City Council members will forgive customers their past debt, if they can stay current on their bills now.

People will still be paying their water and sewer bills, they will need to stay current but it gets people out of any massive holes they might find themselves in.

It can be daunting to pay this month’s water bill when you already know you have 3 or 4 others outstanding but that may change in Toledo.

“We heard you. We listened to all your concerns, your disappointments, your frustrations of the water bill,” said Vanessa Lynn, member of the Toledo Community Water Council.

If your income is below 200% of the federal poverty level and you owe less than $1000, the past due amount will be pulled aside penalty free. That’s when you’ll need to pay on time and in full your current monthly amount. If you do then 1/12 of the debt goes away. 12 straight months of payments makes all the debt disappear.

“If you are behind on your water bill, we want to help you. So please, please call,” said Toledo City Councilman Nick Komives. “If your bill is over $1000 and you pay 24 straight months, the debt is gone.”

City leaders say they’re prepared to lose this owed money because it isn’t likely they would have ever seen it.

“We have tens of millions of dollars in debt that’s uncollected in the water department right now and it doesn’t help us at all if we don’t come up with a way for people to give us money,” said Komives.

Water and sewer billing is always a hot topic but officials with the city think they can pull this off and make billing more user friendly. Especially when they only read the meter once a quarter.

“We wanted to make sure the estimates given on those other two months were accurate so there’s a redesign in the process,” said Cindy Geronimo with the city of Toledo.

This program begins in August but you’ve got to call to become part of it. Call the Engage Toledo line at 419-936-2020.

The forgiveness will only be for water and sewer. The garbage part of your bill will not be forgiven.

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