SPOKANE, Wash. — Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward announced Thursday that the city has applied to help Spokane utility customers with their unpaid utility bills.
A total of $5.1 million has been distributed to more than 4,000 utility customers through the city of Spokane. The funds will help customers pay past-due bills for water, sewer, and solid waste services.
“We hope the funds applied provide much-needed assistance and reduce the lasting financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for our customers and continue our community’s economic recovery,” Woodward said. “This relief allows so many to start the new year with new hope.”
The funds come after Spokane City Council approved $4 million in American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funds to aid in paying down outstanding utility bills in December of last year. The ARPA funding added $1.9 million in state funding from the Department of Commerce, which provides assistance to customers who are delinquent on their City utility bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The “Relief Credit” line item will be applied to customers' January bills to reduce the past due balance amount. Customers will receive a letter notifying them of the credit.
The funding was distributed automatically to many customers who had already qualified for support from a variety of assistance programs or those who live in qualified Census tracts.
The city says there is approximately $800,000 remaining in APRA funds for further distribution to customers who qualify for financial assistance and had not previously sought help.
As of Jan. 1, 2023, the City will return to normal bill collection procedures; customers are expected to pay for their City utility services according to their established billing cycle and deadlines.
More information on how to access that funding will be available in the coming weeks, the city says.
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