Fort Wayne water utility to end shutoffs moratorium

By The Associated Press

FORT WAYNE — The water utility for Indiana’s second-largest city will lift its protections against utility shutoffs next week after Fort Wayne officials said the months-long moratorium had become “unsustainable.”

Fort Wayne City Utilities said the unpaid bill collections and disconnect policies imposed early in coronavirus pandemic would end on Monday. The nonprofit public utility has observed that moratorium for nearly seven months, The Journal Gazette reported.

While Gov. Eric Holcomb ended the state’s moratorium on utility shutoffs in mid-August, City Utilities extended the policy of waiving late fees and disconnects through the beginning of October to help customers.

But officials said Monday in a news release that the situation was “unsustainable.”

“Throughout this difficult time, service representatives have been proactively calling customers behind on payments to help them set up generous payment plans to remain connected,” officials said in the release. “City Utilities is keenly aware of the importance of abundant, safe water to the coronavirus fight.”

Anyone needing financial assistance can contact their township trustee’s office or call the United Way’s 211.

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