The City of Lathrop assured its residents that are impacted by the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic that it would not turn off municipal water to individual homes through the months of March and April for non-payment.
And it appears that those assurances will now run through at least the end of May as public health officials and municipalities grapple with the realities of the pandemic and the impacts to local communities.
Last week Lathrop Mayor Sonny Dhaliwal announced on social media that the city would continue that operating platform through at least the end of this month to alleviate some of the stress that residents who find themselves unemployed or underemployed are dealing with.
While the move doesn’t waive the fees associated with municipal water service – customers are still responsible for any charges that they accrue over the period of time that they are receiving the utility – it does, according to Dhaliwal, create one less thing for residents that are struggling to worry about.
“This doesn’t mean people shouldn’t pay their bill but at least they don’t have to worry their water will get shut off,” Dhaliwal said. “As always, for those who have gotten behind on payments, we have a 6-month payment plan and we could easily extend payments for 12-months.”
Every December the council typically approves a similar deferment plan to allow families who are struggling during the holidays to make it through without having to worry about a disconnection – something that could render a home unlivable and create even more of a situation than they are already facing.
Lathrop currently has reserves that allow for flexibility when it comes to backfilling the funds needed to operate the city’s water system, and city staff is currently monitoring the short and long-term impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to help the city weather the storm financially over the course of the coming months.
For additional information about how to take advantage of the water grade period, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at www.ci.lathrop.ca.us.
To contact reporter Jason Campbell email email@example.com or call 209.249.3544.