City of Independence announces extension of utility shut off moratorium
The City of Independence today announced the moratorium on utility shut offs has been extended to Feb. 28, 2021. This comes as the result of technological challenges experienced by the City in December and ongoing impacts of COVID-19.
No bills were distributed for City of Independence Utilities during the month of December. Billing resumed during the week of Jan. 4 but will be delayed and customers will see a billing cycle that represents approximately 60 days beginning on the last date their meters were read in 2020.
Customers are strongly encouraged to contact the Customer Services team to discuss payment arrangements, if needed, at 816-325-7930 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Further, there are currently no credit card fees, late fees or penalties being charged. To date, the City has absorbed over $750,000 in credit card fees on behalf of customers.
As an update for citizens here are some of the most common questions being received by the City at this time:
I paid in December. Will I still get a 2-month bill?
Yes, you will still receive a billing statement that covers a two-month period. Any payments made toward your account in December will be credited against the new billing charges. If you still have a credit, it will reflect on the statement, if you still owe any additional billing charges, the bill will tell you the remaining balance which needs to be paid.
What timeframe will my bill cover?
The timeframe of the billing period can be located on the second page of your billing statement at the top of the page. It will cover from your last reading date in November until your current reading date in January. The City bills in arrears so it is the usage from the previous month or billing period that you pay the following month.
Will my bill be estimated?
The intent of the City is to read meters every month when possible. Inclement weather can prohibit the City from obtaining meter readings. Also if customer’s have locked gates or we are not able to access meters, this will cause an estimation on customer’s accounts. If a meter read card is left, please complete the card and mail back to the City or e-mails can also be sent with a picture of the electric and/or water meter to email@example.com
I paid in-person/via the mail in December. Will this be credited to my bill?
Yes, any payments received have be credited to accounts. If you have questions in regard to payments, contact customer service at 816-325-7930 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I do not see a current bill online. When will I get it?
Billing is taking place currently, there are still some delays but bill statements will be sent to customers when they are ready. The City is unable to provide a specific time when you will receive your billing statement. All customers in the City will receive a billing statement in January.
I was not notified of an electronic withdrawal from my account. When will the next deduction come?
Electronic withdrawals on customers’ accounts are done on the bill due date. The exception to this was December when the City was not able to bank draft customers’ accounts. All December payments have been processed for electronic payment. The next time for electronic withdrawals will be on the January billing statements due date.
How does this impact my level-pay arrangement?
Level pay calculates on a monthly usage and is adjusted each month over a 12-month rolling period. As a result, the levelized amount due listed on the front of the bill will be for one a month period and be very similar to a typical monthly bill.
I cannot pay for two-months. What can I do?
Customer may call and request a payment arrangement to extend the time to pay their bill out until March 31, 2021.
When will shut-offs return?
Shut offs may resume after February 28, 2021, weather permitting. Customers are encouraged to make payments and/or arrangements and payments on their account to avoid service interruption.
When do we expect all customers to have received their 60-day cycle bill by? This will be a one-time event at this time, correct?
All customers will receive a billing statement in January which will cover the two-month period since receiving their last billing statement. Normal billing practices will resume after this time and no additional or future changes to billing practices are anticipated.
If no bills were sent out in December, how were CARES act funds allocated?
No CARES funds were allocated to December billing statements since there were no billing statements generated. CARES act funds were applied to any remaining balances on customers’ accounts for 2020.
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