Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, (509) 625-6505
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 at 9 a.m.
This fall, the City of Spokane is making changes to the utility bills it sends to improve communications and service to utility customers.
The City is updating its database so that utility accounts are in the name of the owner of a property or a property management firm responsible for a property. Currently many City utility accounts are in the name of tenants who come and go or they’re simply assigned to “occupant” at a particular address.
“The City should communicate directly with its customers,” says Ken Gimpel, the City’s Assistant Division Director of Utilities. “The change will help avoid confusion and allow our staff to deal with any service problems more quickly.”
Over the next few months, the City will be asking customers to provide some basic information—the name of the person who owns a property, the address of that property, a mailing address if it’s different, a phone number, and an email account.
Customers can provide that information:
By the end of the year, any accounts that aren’t updated will be changed to reflect the information that’s available through property tax records.
Gimpel notes that nothing else related to the City’s utility bills will change. The City will continue to accept payments from owners, property management companies, tenants or any third party. The property owner remains responsible for the bill, but a duplicate can be sent to a tenant.
The City’s utility bills include charges for water, wastewater, stormwater, and garbage collection. The City’s Utilities serve more than 75,000 residential and business customers both inside and outside the city limits.