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Waynesboro water services disconnection moratorium expires

Waynesboro residents struggle with water being shut off.
Waynesboro residents struggle with water being shut off.(WHSV)
Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 4:44 PM EDT
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WAYNESBORO, Va. (WHSV) — Some people in the city of Waynesboro recently had their water cut off after being behind on payments. WHSV spoke with the city to find out how people are now getting charged despite the ongoing pandemic.

Waynesboro City Council adopted an emergency ordinance back in June that stated residents would not be charged late fees or interest on their utility bills through September 14.

“We continued to send bills, we continued to notify people as late notices if their bill had lapsed, but we would not cut off their water,” Jim Shaw, Deputy City Manager said.

The order to not cut off water for non-payment expired August 17.

The State Corporation Commission did extend its moratorium on utility shut-offs until September 16. However, the city water provider is not regulated by the SCC in the same way that gas and electric are, according to Shaw.

“When we sent the disconnect notices, we also sent information about how the customer might be able to find relief,” Shaw said.

He said the city does offer payment plan extensions, and they have set aside $75,000 through CARES Act funding to offer payment assistance for households who are having financial trouble due to COVID-19.

“The money could be used for electric or gas, it can be used for rent or mortgage payments. It wasn’t simply for utility payments or water and sewer utility payments,” Shaw said.

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