Following the discovery of last week’s billing issue, City staff has spent significant time collaborating on numerous topics. To be open with our customers and to assure that we take situations such as this very serious, we felt follow up communication would be best and will be communicated over multiple platforms in an effort to get the word out as best as possible.
To date, after reviewing numerous bills and following discussion with our operating software provider, we have not found any bills to have calculation errors. The increase is contributed to the additional days in the bill cycle to accommodate our schedule for our meter swap project. Based on our research, currently the average difference in this month’s bill versus the previous month is about six (6) percent. That amount can vary and its effect is dependent on each customer’s average usage. We understand that a variance such as this can have a negative impact on household budgets, especially at a time when many are seeing additional expenses with back to school. In an effort to help relieve the possible financial burden this caused, we will not be assessing any penalties to utility bills this month. In addition, we will not do utility disconnects for non-payment for the month of September 2019. Our hope is that if this billing issue caused a financial burden for your household this grace period will allow you time to feasibly make arrangements and adjustments to take care of your utilities. We will proceed with the normal billing schedule next month. All September and October utility bills will now be due by 5:00 pm on October 15, 2019 to avoid penalties on any outstanding balances, and then before 8:00 am on Monday, October 21, 2019, (since the 20th falls on a Sunday) to avoid disconnection.
The goal for our entire organization is to bring our best to you each and every day. Any time new procedures are put into place we work to try and foresee any issues that may come up and in this case, this was not predicted. We want you to know that we are working through our procedures and putting steps in place to better our checks and balances on processes such as these. We will also work to improve our communication, so that if there is a change that could not be avoided, our goal is to have the communication out ahead of time to keep you informed.
We hope this information provides additional insight to the situation. Additionally, our goal is that the additional time to pay your utility bill will bring some relief at a time when we know that household budgets can be very tight. Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional information.