Home Staunton amends city code to allow residents more time to pay water bills before utility cutoff

Staunton amends city code to allow residents more time to pay water bills before utility cutoff

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The Staunton City Code has been amended to give residents more time between failing to pay their utility bill and their water being disconnected.

The new process will bring Staunton’s procedures in line with the Code of Virginia and provide customers more time to pay their bill before having their water shutoff.

Water customers will continue to receive a bill every two months and have 30 days to pay on time. If the bill is unpaid in that timeframe, customers will receive a late notice showing that payment is due immediately. They will then receive their next regular bill in the mail, which will include the past due balance. Water will be cut off approximately 30 days later if the past due amount is not paid — a cumulative total of 90 days from the initial water bill. Two weeks prior to the water being disconnected, a hangtag will also be placed on the door of the residence as a final reminder.

“Hopefully this new timeline will eliminate a lot of disconnections where customers simply forget to pay or misplace their bill,” Staunton’s Chief Financial Officer Jessie Moyers said.

Once the water to a residence has been disconnected, a flat fee of $30 is charged to the customer’s account. The $30 fee, plus past due amount must be paid in order to reinstate service.

In order to make paying water bills easier and avoid missed or late payments, residents can sign up for automatic electronic drafts from their bank accounts that are withdrawn on the resident’s due date. Paper copies of the form are also available at the Utilities Payment Desk on the first floor of City Hall, 116 West Beverley Street and at Public Works, 1911 Craigmont Road.

If payment assistance is needed, residents should reach out to local organizations including the Salvation Army at 540-885-8157 or Staunton Augusta Church Relief Association (SACRA) at 540-886-3957.

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.