City of Willow Springs Uses CARES Act Funds to Benefit Utility Customers
Wed, 08/05/2020 - 11:21am admin
The City of Willow Springs submitted the sum of $3,960.51 to the Howell County Commission for reimbursement under the CARES Act. Last week, the Commission approved the sum in full.
According to City Administrator Beverly Hicks, the City will use approximately two thirds of these funds to benefits utility customers. The sum of $1,108.06 was submitted for reimbursement on behalf of some utility customers who left their homes during the approved dates of March 1 through June 15, leaving outstanding bills owed to the City for their utilities.
“Once that money is received we will pay off those utility accounts, therefore, not leaving those customers with bad debt owed to the City. Municipal utilities have the opportunity to use the local government CARES Act money to establish a financial assistance program for individuals impacted by COVID-19. The financial assistance program can assist individuals that have not paid utility bills or have incurred significant late fees from March 1 to June 15, with subsequent opportunities until December 31. The term “individuals” can include residential and business customers as long as they have not received federal money to make the same payments,” Hicks wrote in an email to Howell County News.
Also benefitting utility customers, the City waived the April and May credit card processing fees that customers normally would have to pay if they used the online convenience of paying their bill. The credit card company billed the City directly for those fees in the amount of $1,011.78. This sum had to be paid from the City’s general revenue and will be reimbursed by the CARES Act funds.
The remaining $1,840.67 was used to reimburse the police and fire departments for PPE and extra cleaning supplies which had been paid from each department’s supply and material budget.