In attempts to cut costs for the community during the pandemic, the city of Charles City suspended water shut-offs back in March. More than 6 months later, the city says these types of ‘shut-offs’ are back:
“We will be reinstating the shut off process this month, along with tag fees. If delinquent accounts aren’t paid by 5:00 on October 20, a tagging fee of $25 will be incurred. Shut off will be done on October 23 for any accounts that are delinquent.”
For people this could become an issue for, the city also linked Iowa’s new ‘COVID-19 Residential Utility Disruption Prevention Program’. A program available to low-income Iowans who need help paying for their utilities.
“…eligible households with up to $2,000 towards electric, natural gas and water bills if they are at risk of disconnection due to an inability to pay due to a COVID-19 related loss of income.”
To be eligible to receive assistance, a residential electric, natural gas and/or water utility customer must have:
- A primary Iowa residence with active residential utility accounts, renters may apply as long as the utility account is in the applicant’s name;
- An unpaid utility bill balance or have previously entered into a payment plan with their utility provider;
- An annual income that is 80% of the median family income, based on county and household size
- Experienced a COVID-19 loss of income (job loss, reduction in hours, reduction in pay) on or after March 17, 2020 that resulted in hardship in paying bills for electric, natural gas, and/or water utility service provided between March 17, 2020 and October 31, 2020.
The city ends their release with:
“We wanted to be sure we got the word out so people weren’t caught by surprise. So please pass this information on to anyone who might need to know. Thank you!”