Board Approves COVID-19 Emergency Bill Relief Program
Clatskanie PUD Adopts COVID-19 Emergency Bill Relief Program and Extends Lobby Closure
At the March 31st Special Board Meeting, the Clatskanie PUD Board approved the staff recommended “COVID-19 Emergency Bill Relief Program” to provide assistance for CPUD customers during this challenging time. The Board authorized the utilization of up to $600,000 in emergency funds for this new program to help those affected by the COVID-19 economic hardships.
General Manager Marc Farmer explained, “As we continue to hear, see, and experience the challenges the coronavirus has created for our customers, we wanted to help and provide some temporary bill relief to help our communities.” The bill relief program has multiple levels, and begins with the immediate suspension of late fees and disconnects for non-payment. Extended payment arrangements, beyond what are normally allowed, are also authorized for both residential and business customers.
In May, our residential customers will see a $3 bill credit for the next 3 months to offset the previously approved rate increase in the base charge. The rate increase had been approved for the Clatskanie PUD Debt Reduction Strategy for long-term rate stabilization.
Our Clatskanie PUD Share the Warmth energy assistance program has been expanded. Additional emergency funds will now cover those who were not income qualified before, but have recently experienced unemployment or under employment due to COVID-19. If your employment has been impacted, please call the office to talk to our Customer Service Representatives to make payment arrangements and qualify for bill relief through our Share the Warmth program.
For our small business customers, we are providing a bill credit for their base charge from April through July, and possibly longer if the social distancing/ stay at home orders continue for an extended amount of time. We will make special payment arrangements to put payments on hold to allow more time for the other assistance programs to help provide relief. Please call the office to discuss the options with a Customer Service Representative.
To continue compliance with the Federal and State COVID-19 response regulations, the Clatskanie PUD office lobby will remain closed until April 30, 2020. The staff is continuing to work, and are available by phone and email Monday – Thursday 7:00 am to 5:30 pm. As always, outage calls are answered 24/7 everyday by our afterhours service by calling our office line: 503-728-2163. Payments may be made by mail, drop box at the office or the Rainier City Hall, secure phone line 844-262-2431, online at clatskaniepud.com, and using the SmartHub App.
As things evolve with this unprecedented challenge for the communities we serve, we will reevaluate the situation and be responsive to the needs of our customers. Please continue to be diligent in following social distancing recommendations, and stay healthy.