City Offers Transition Period For Utility Payments

Kirstin Davis, Communications Manager, 509.625.7773

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 at 3:38 p.m.

Mayor Nadine Woodward recommended, and City Council adopted, a 6-month transition period for utility customers who are not current with payments because of the impacts of COVID. The statewide moratorium on water shutoffs and addition of late fees expired on Sept. 30, 2021.  About 7,500 accounts have amounts owed from the pandemic period. The total amount owed is about $6.5 million.

The City remains committed to assisting customers while our community recovers from the pandemic. These customers/citizens have time to transition back into current status on their bills and have the opportunity to make payments or set up interest free payment plans until March 31, 2022. Late fees won’t be added until at least Nov. 30, 2021. A proactive approach to getting caught up on un-paid fees is encouraged.

Interest-free payment plans are available for residential and commercial customers today. An easy-to-use online form is available on the City’s web site.

Low-income households facing financial hardship also can seek help through a couple of programs, including:

  • The City’s U-Help program. The U-Help program provides low-income households with emergency financial assistance to help pay for their City utility bills, which include charges for water, wastewater, stormwater and garbage collection. Through the end of 2021, the program includes additional flexibility to allow more customers to receive help. Assistance is available by calling SNAP (Spokane Neighborhood Actions Programs) at 456-SNAP.
  • Rent Assistance programs funded with federal dollars. These programs also can assist with utility charges. City residents can go to the City’s web site for more details. City utility customers who live outside the City can call SNAP at 456-SNAP for information on the County’s program.

The City is tracking other possible sources of financial assistance and will provide updated information as more programs become available.