Milwaukee residents won’t have to worry about utility disconnections until April thanks to a decision Thursday by the Public Service Commission.
Commissioners voted to extend the utility cutoff moratorium until Nov. 1. That date also is the beginning of the annual winter moratorium, which lasts until April 15.
This effectively extends the moratorium for the next seven months.
However, the moratorium for shutting off water service is set to end on Nov. 1, and the PSC will have to approve any cold-weather disconnection plans.
Chairwoman Rebecca Cameron Valcq and Commissioner Tyler Huebner voted to extend the utility moratorium. Valcq said she was specifically concerned with the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin.
The moratorium was originally introduced at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to help those experiencing financial hardships. It prevents utilities from disconnecting customers who cannot pay their bills.
Commissioner Ellen Nowak again cast the sole vote against extending the moratorium, saying that she did not think the “scattershot approach” would be as effective as targeted solutions for those who need them.
“I think the fairest, most compassionate thing to do is focus on helping only those in need and not harming them in the long run,” Nowak said.