Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager, (509) 625-6505
Wednesday, December 9, 2015 at 11:55 a.m.
This fall, the City of Spokane began making changes to the utility bills it sends to improve communications and service to utility customers.
The City has been 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. 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, which limits communications. 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.
“The City is working to be able to communicate directly with its customers,” says Ken Gimpel, the City’s Assistant Division Director of Utilities. “The changes already are helping to avoid confusion and allowing our staff to deal with any service problems more quickly.”
Many customers have responded to the City’s request 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. The City is making a final request to customers to provide updated information this month, before automatically changing the information using tax records in early 2016.
Customers can provide that information:
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 curbside garbage and recycling collection. The City’s Utilities serve more than 75,000 residential and business customers both inside and outside the city limits.