Congressman appeals to Pres. Obama over Detroit water shutoffs
DETROIT (AP) - Longtime Detroit Congressman John Conyers has sent letters to President Barack Obama and other officials requesting immediate action and relief regarding water shutoffs in the bankrupt city.
The Democrat seeks to stop the shutoffs for nonpayment. Conyers said in a statement Friday that actions represent "an overzealous and misguided approach to cost-cutting."
The water department, responsible for about $6 billion of Detroit's $18 billion in debt, is a major issue in bankruptcy.
Earlier this year, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department said it would be more assertive about delinquencies. About 46,000 shut-off notices were sent last month and service to 4,500 customers was recently cut.
The department says about 17,000 customers are on payment plans, and officials try to work with customers.
Several groups have appealed to the United Nations.