Augusta,Ga (WJBF) Augusta Utilities Department customer service people expecting to be swamped because next week is the scheduled end of the moratorium on cutoffs.
Sonny James did not escape the financial impact caused by the coronavirus
“My business was shutdown so the answer is yes because with the business shut down you have no income if you have no income how are you going to pay you bills,” said James.
Augusta has been billing water customers since the pandemic started, but it wasn’t business as usual, the city suspended cutoffs for those who could not pay.
But after the close of business next Tuesday that will change if customers do not make arrangements, but even then, no guarantees.
“All they have to do is. is give us a call or come in to either one of our locations and speak to our collection staff and we’ll be more than happy to see what we can do to try and help you,” said Customer Service Office Manager Joan West
The coronavirus has not gone away and some commissioners feel the city should not be doing away with the cut off moratorium
“Some people are struggling we need to look at it case by case I think versus just shutting the water off,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
But other commissioners pointing out it’s been almost four months,
“The majority of the people have gone back to work they gotten the stimulus check so I think we need to start getting back to business and start getting back to the normal way of life,” said Commissioner John Clarke.
West did not have the total number of customers behind on their payments but estimated its a good percentage.
“Maybe about 30 to 40 percent maybe unfortunately people are out of work,” said West.
Now Mayor Hardie Davis established the moratorium on cut-offs in March then extended it in April by executive order.