Detroit — State Sen. Coleman A. Young II is slamming a city department after water was cutoff at his campaign headquarters Monday even though he says the bill was paid.
The Detroit mayoral candidate told The Detroit News that the bill had been paid a couple days earlier but claims the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department had the water to the Livernois Avenue office cut off anyway as well as a neighboring business. Water was restored about two hours later, his campaign manager said Wednesday.
“That was after we paid it and we showed them the receipt and they still shut it off,” Young said. “So you know if that’s happening to me in my campaign office, you can’t imagine what they are doing to other people. There’s just a level of incompetence that’s just absurd and unheard of.”
Young posted about the incident Wednesday on his campaign Facebook page. In the short video, Young recounts what happened, calling it “shameful.”
But water department director Gary Brown said late Wednesday that department records show the water account, which is not in Young’s name, had an outstanding balance of about $384. The service was cut off over the delinquency but restored later the same day after a $388 payment was made, Brown said.
Brown said water records show bills for the strip mall storefront are mailed monthly to a P.O. box. Multiple notices were mailed, warning of the risk of shutoff, he said. The storefront was among several, he added, shut off for nonpayment.
Brown said the office should have received a notice on its door, warning of the impending shutoff.
Young’s campaign manager Adolph Mongo countered that they hadn’t received any notices from the water department before the shutoff. The bills go directly to the office, not a P.O. box, Mongo said, and when they come, they are paid.
“If it was a problem and nobody paid the bill, they wouldn’t have come back a couple hours later and put the water back on,” he said. “This was part of playing politics.”
Mongo said the water remained off for about two hours Monday before crews returned to restore it.
“It was very inconvenient,” he said. “We had people at the office making calls and they cut off the water.”
Brown said the shutoff “wasn’t personal.” All accounts 60 days past due or $150 in arrears are at-risk for shutoff.
“It wasn’t someone going after him,” Brown said, adding it was unclear late Wednesday who the property owner is for the space that is leased by Young’s campaign.