The NYC Water Board met this morning to approve the midyear rate hike OR service termination. In the end they chose to do both.
Here are some of the new measures the DEP now has regarding service termination:
- The DEP is now only required to issue a notice of termination 15 days in advance.
- The DEP is now allowed to terminate service for smaller amounts owed for shorter periods of time.
- The Water Board reduced the amount of time that the DEP is prohibited from shutting off water due to the cold weather.
- The time frame to issue complaints has been reduced.
Water Watch NYC’s opinion on this matter is that the Water Board is putting itself in a very precarious situation. With these new rules, it becomes too easy for an overzealous clerk to mistakenly order service termination on a squeaky clean account. What happens if a homeowner who always paid his $500-$600 dollar bills on time, all of a sudden gets a bill for $5,000-$6,000? He refuses to pay it because it’s obviously a mistake and three months later the DEP terminates his water service.