While the city of Detroit has been shutting off water to its poorest citizens who have been unable to pay their bills — some who owe as little as $150 — they have not yet shut off the water to many commercial customers with larger balances in arrears.
Vargo Golf which operates Palmer Park Golf Course and Chandler Park Golf Course is the leading commercial offender with two bills in serious arrears, one for $100,528 and the other a whopping $437,714. Yet the water still flows freely into their sprinkler systems, keeping the greens and fairways lush for their well-to-do patrons.
A list supplied by Detroit Water and Sewerage Department of commercial accounts that are in arrears did not include Ford Field, the Detroit Lions or Olympia Entertainment, the company that runs Joe Louis Arena, although activists protesting the unfair tactic of going after the small residential customers first say that those also owe large amounts.
|8 MILE PROPERTY INVESTMENTS LLC||$72,207|
|CHEYENNE COIN LAUNDRY||$58,858|
|COLONIAL MANOR PROPERTIES LLC||$85,587|
|CROWN ENTERPRISES INC||$95,875|
|DISPOSAL & RECYCLING TECH.||$107,714|
|EQ DETROIT, INC||$270,914|
|IVEY AND ASSOCIATES||$86,780|
|METRO BUILDING GROUP, LLC||$56,077|
|METRO LIVERNOIS, LLC||$302,845|
|MICHIGAN WASTE ENERGY INC.||$244,473|
|MT. OLIVET CEMETERY||$62,393|
|RESIDENT (17900 Ryan Rd, LLC)||$54,666|
|RESIDENT (18718 Borman, LLC)||$338,359|
|RESIDENT (address: 5960 Tireman St)||$44,683|
|RESIDENT (Alarayshi, Yahya Zakaria)||$37,120|
|RESIDENT (All American Towing, Inc)||$41,654|
|RESIDENT (Brodhead Armory)||$49,961|
|RESIDENT (G F H Enterpries, Inc)||$55,260|
|RESIDENT (New Fellowship Church)||$91,324|
|RESIDENT (RH & PM Greenfield PD, LLC)||$42,876|
|RESIDENT (West Chicago Development, LLC)||$62,055|
|RUSSELL INDUSTRIAL ASSOCIATES||$181,220|
|SHELBOURNE SQUARE APTS||$263,235|
|ST. JAMES NURSING CENTER||$45,980|
|STATE OF MICHIGAN-DMB||$86,890|
Darryl Latimer, deputy director of DWSD told the Detroit Free Press in July that they had sent out shut off notices to the commercial customers in May around the same time that they began sending them to residential customers, but that the contractors who handle the residential shut-offs were not equipped to deal with a commercial shut-off.
However, those contractors have been busy shutting off water to nearly 15,000 residential customers. By the end of September, the total came to about 50,000 residential customers that had their water cut.
“Some of those [commercial] customers probably have gotten shut-off notices. We just haven’t moved to shut them off. The contractor couldn’t shut them off,” Latimer told the Free Press in July. “They’re not equipped to shut off a larger industry like a Ford Field or what have you.”
Two and a half months later, these large commercial accounts are tens of thousands of dollars in arrears or more and the water is still flowing while poor residents are buying water at the Dollar Store.
On September 29, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes refused to block residential shut-offs for six months saying the city needs the money and that there is no right to free water.
h/t: Detroit Free Press