By SUE SUCHYTA
HEIGHTS – The City Council voted to waive water bill penalties through Dec. 31 due to billing delays caused by staff shortages in the city’s water billing department.
The motion, made by Councilmember Hassan Ahmad and seconded by Councilmember Mo Baydoun, passed unanimously.
City Clerk Lynne Senia said approval of the meeting minutes, which reflect the resolution’s wording, will likely be approved at the Oct. 24 city council meeting.
City Treasurer Lisa Hicks-Clayton said the city has several departments that are understaffed, and the city is focused on hiring and retaining employees to provide residents with the expected level of city services.
She said recent retirements and employee attrition have impacted staffing levels in the water billing department.
Hicks-Clayton said the staff shortage has forced water bills to be shifted to a four-month billing cycle instead of the two-month cycle to which residents are accustomed.
Due to the switch to a four-month cycle from a two-month cycle, the doubling of the statement has alarmed residents and worried those worried about covering the cost of the bill.
Residents needing help paying their water bills may contact the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund at 844-756-4423, by email at [email protected], or can go to Michigan.gov/mshda/homeownership/mihaf-homeowner-assistance.