The City of Guthrie will begin working with utility customers when it comes to their billing of water, sewer and trash. In March, the City postponed cutting off water service for those unable to pay their bills after declaring a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will work with customers and provide a three month payment plan by dividing their amount by three plus their current bill,” City Clerk Kim Biggs said to council members on Tuesday night’s regular scheduled council meeting.
Along with postponing water disconnections, late penalties were also waived by the City in March.
With the council’s approval with a 6-0 vote, the City will offer customers the option to enter into a three-month payment plan, approve restarting the disconnection process effective with bills due June 15th with a cut-off date of June 25 to customers with delinquent accounts and allow reinstatement of the late fee effective July 15.
“If they (customers) get disconnected on June 25, we will still work with them and setup a payment plan and make sure it gets paid out over time,” Biggs added.
Biggs says there were over 400 delinquent accounts that would be subject to disconnection for nonpayment. Some customers have not made payments since March.
The average customer bill for current disconnection sits at $119.76 and the total balance due for accounts with balances over $29.99 is $51,138.12.
City officials say on average, their monthly billing is approximately $525,000 or $6.3 million per year.
The City generates between 75 and 100 disconnects per month.
It is the responsibility of the utility customer to keep his/her account in good standings with the Authority by avoiding interruption of water service due to a delinquent account. Utility staff is authorized to enter into an extension arrangement by appearing in person to sign a written agreement unless special arrangements have been made by the utility staff to waive your personal appearance. Any arrangement not kept by the utility customer could result in denial of any future agreements past the established due date. Each request will be reviewed to determine if it is in the best interest of the Authority for repeated extensions. Extension arrangements are limited to four (4) agreements per utility customer per calendar year.
Delinquent accounts shall be processed for interruption or disconnection of service on the date for disconnection that has appeared on the utility customer’s Second Notice. If payment is not received in the utility office before the disconnection date stated on the Second Notice, service will be disconnected by our meter representative without further notice. Service will not be resumed until the delinquent balance due, including the disconnection fee, and an City of Guthrie June 2, 2020 5 additional deposit has been paid to the Authority in full. The Authority reserves the right to restore service within twenty-four (24) hours of payment being received in the utility office. Any payments received after 5:00 p.m. on the cut-off date stated on the Second Notice must be in full to avoid disconnection or interruption of service. Any payments received in the Night Deposit will not be processed until the morning of the next working day.