The City of Independence today announced it will resume utility shut offs for non-payment and late fees on July 15. City of Independence Utility Customers are encouraged to make payment arrangements before July 15 if possible. Credit card and online payment fees will continue to be waived until further notice.
“We understand this year has been incredibly challenging for many families in our community,” Mayor Eileen Weir said. “We are one of the last utilities in our region to resume shut offs and late fees. This will be a gradual process focusing first on those accounts that had broken payment arrangements prior to the COVID-19 crisis first. Further, customers who need additional time will be able to work with our Customer Service team on a 6-month repayment plan.”
The City will be following a hot weather rule which stipulates shut-offs will not be conducted on days in which the temperature will be greater than 95 degrees or a heat index greater than 105 degrees. Customers are encouraged to contact the Customer Services team to make payment arrangements as soon as possible. These arrangements can be spread out over 6-months. Customers with questions related to their account should contact the Utility Customer Service team at (816) 325-7930, via email at UtilityCustomerService@indepmo.org, or in-person at the Independence Utilities Center located at 17221 E. 23rd Street S. which is open to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
“It is important to note this is our plan as of today,” City Manager Zach Walker said. “We are working closely with regional health officials, utilities peers and groups providing additional assistance to monitor the changing situation related to COVID-19. If this date changes, we will let the public know as soon as possible.”
Customers can pay in-person from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays, with access to every other window and social distancing marks on the floors. If paying in-person, customers are encouraged to wear a cloth face covering and will be subject to a health check prior to entering the building. The drive-thru is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Cash and credit card payments will be accepted at the windows and through the drive-thru. Citizens are encouraged to continue paying online whenever possible.
As of June 1, there were approximately $2.7 million in unpaid bills representing more than 7,800 utility customers. This is 12 percent of all current customers, and a 4 percent increase over this period in 2019. All City of Independence Utilities customers received a 6 percent reduction in their electric rates as of August 2019. For information on assistance programs and resources in our area, please visit cslc19.org/help.