The City Commission met Wednesday and voted to resume disconnecting utilities when payments are not made. The City will provide a 60-day notice before disconnecting.
City staff will also work with utility customers to apply for U.S. Treasury utility and rent assistance funds and establish payment agreements with utility customers on a case-by-case basis.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the City of Tallahassee placed a hold on utility disconnections due to financial hardships caused by the pandemic. Tallahassee was the first city in the state to take this action and will be one of the last to resume utility disconnections.
Beginning in March, the City will provide three payment assistance options to customers who experience problems paying for utilities. The options will be Customer Pay Plans, Customer Pay Agreements and Customer Extensions. Costumers and businesses will also be able to apply for the U.S. Treasury rent and utility assistance funds which are administered by Leon County. This fund is worth $8.9 million and will be paid directly to the landlord or utility provider. This fund can support an eligible household with past-due utilities or rent for up to 12 months.
The City will make providing warning to residents a priority when utility disconnects resume. Warning residents is considered the first step in helping them address their utility debt. Before any disconnections happen, the City will launch a communications campaign to inform residents who may have a disconnect at their household or business.