City of Jackson offers new water bill payment plan for some cust - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

City of Jackson offers new water bill payment plan for some customers

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Jackson residents who have fallen behind on their water bills may have an option to get caught up in the near future.

The City of Jackson is setting up a temporary payment plan program for customers of the city's water system.

It's designed to help water customers pay off large outstanding bills. Customers will stay current by making partial payments on their outstanding bills, along with their monthly bill.

"Many of our residents have accumulated monstrous bills that in most cases they're not able to pay off immediately," said Mayor Tony Yarber.

The program’s aim is to assist customers whose bills have accumulated over the months due to nonpayment. When the City of Jackson initiated a comprehensive water billing system upgrade in August 2015, a number of issues occurred during the implementation.

Among those issues was delayed or infrequent billing. The system is part of the Siemens contract approved in 2012.

City leaders say they recognize some customers have had difficulty paying bills they’ve received that are an accumulation of their water use over the past several months.

"Residential customers that are just basically behind were looking at 15%  down payment for those customers," said Interim Public Works Director Jerriot Smash. "If the customer is elderly and on a fixed income, we will instate a $50 fee."

Some residents, who have had billing issues in the past, believe this will help them from falling behind again.

"Sometimes you're on a budget, you got one bill when extra stuff comes in," said Jackson resident Senterdia Logan. "You need extra help, so if the city is willing to help us, I believe for citizens that's a good thing."

Here are details of the program:

  • Beginning Sept. 15, 2016, the City of Jackson will introduce a modified payment arrangement program to eligible residential customers.  This program is only for a limited time to account for the challenges of rolling out the new billing system. 
  • Enrollment ends Dec. 15, 2016.

In order to enroll:

  • A customer must pay the current month’s charge, plus a down payment.

To maintain enrollment:

  •  Each month, the customer must pay the current month’s charge, plus the monthly amount that was determined when the customer enrolled in the program. This will help to pay down the charges that have accumulated.
  • Nonpayment will result in disconnection with customer being subject to a reconnection fee.  Customer may re-enroll but will be subject to approval up to the limit on re-enrollment.  If a customer is expelled from a payment arrangement due to failure to pay, they are to be disconnected immediately and if they enroll in a subsequent payment arrangement, the down payment to participate will escalate.

Option 1

Elderly w/ low income/fixed income

Eligibility: verified fixed income (ex: Proof of SSI)

Down payment: $50.00

Payment term: determined upon review

Disconnect: failure to pay results in disconnection

Option 2

Customer w/ past due account

Eligibility: account balance exceeds 2.5 times average monthly bill

Down payment: 15% of the total past due balance

Payment term: up to 18 months

Disconnect: failure to pay results in disconnection.

For more information about the program, please contact the Water Sewer Business Administration at 601-960-2000.

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