The New Orleans City Council voted 7-0 Thursday to cut off water service to those who fail to pay their garbage fees.
The ordinance authorizes the mayor to sign a contract with the Sewerage and Water Board (S&WB) to assist the city in collecting delinquent garbage fees.
Council President Jackie Clarkson says the elderly, the disabled and those on low or fixed incomes would be exempt from the cutoff penalty, provided they meet the criteria of the Water Help Program.
Deputy Mayor/CAO Andy Kopplin says the garbage fee is $10 for those who meet the age and income requirements. He says about 1,400 residents have taken advantage of the Water Help Program and another 160 have applied.
"This was very, very carefully done so that the elderly, the disabled, the below the poverty level, everyone was taken into consideration who would not be in this mix," Clarkson said.
It's not clear how many of the people who've failed to pay their garbage fees fall into the exemption category.