TROY, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- Many utilities are promising not to disconnect services for customers who can't pay their bills since several businesses are closing their doors and people aren’t able to go to work and earn a paycheck. But that's not the case in Troy, Missouri.
News 4 learned 41 Troy customers who didn't pay their January bills got their water and sewer service cut off on Wednesday.
Considering how other cities and major utilities are stopping disconnections, it came as a shock to people News 4 talked to that Troy was cutting people's water.
"I think it shows that they value money over people," Lincoln County resident Stephanie Schmitt said.
“Yeah, [I think it’s unfair] because nobody asked for this coronavirus going around," resident Darren Dorsick said.
Criticism is raining down on Troy City Hall over its hard line stance on people who didn't pay their utility bills.
"We do everything we can to avoid any disconnection,” Troy Mayor Ron Sconce said. “But yes, if they don't pay by the middle of the following month there's a day where we draw the line."
The mayor says delinquent customers were warned about paying their water, sewer and trash collection bill multiple times. They could have set up a payment plan or sought assistance from local churches and agencies. And he said the bill is for January services that was due by the end of February before widespread business closings and layoffs.
“So we felt like nobody had been impacted yet or hadn't at that time,” Sconce said. “Their inability to pay would be based on other reasons and not this virus."
Critics say it's outrageous a family with children might be told to self quarantine and not have any water.
"I think that's pretty sad,” resident Renee Wright said. “I think they need to think about what's happening and what people are going through."
The mayor said a proposal to suspend disconnections is on the agenda for the board of aldermen's next meeting on April 6.
"We don't want to be cruel and heartless and we will look at entertaining some changes if COVID-19 continues and if there are more drastic measures that are taken," Sconce said.