CITY REPORTS 'SUBSTANTIAL' PROGRESS
WITH UTILITY ACCOUNT PAYMENTS
RAPID CITY, SD--Officials are commending City utility customers for bringing their accounts current and dramatically reducing the potential number of service discontinuations in January.
Last March, the City suspended utility service discontinuations due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In late October, officials announced the City would resume service discontinuations beginning in January and encouraged City utility customers to bring accounts current.
On October 30, the City reported 2,900 residential and commercial customers with outstanding accounts with a collective balance of $600,000 owed. That number has been reduced considerably to about 400 accounts with outstanding balances with a collective balance of around $125,000. City utility customers with outstanding overdue balances were encouraged to bring their accounts current before January 4 to avoid discontinuation of services.
"Suspending utility discontinuations last March was the right thing to do in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impacts experienced by our utility customers," said City Public Works Director Dale Tech. "We increased our messaging on the need to bring past due accounts current and we appreciate the response and efforts from thousands of customers."
There were 502 utility discontinuation actions in January, an increase from the 321 discontinuation actions the previous January.
"Although there was an increase in discontinuations of service over January of the previous year, we have made substantial progress," Tech said. "It is a drastic decrease in the number of accounts that were identified as at risk for discontinuation, when we made our initial announcement in October," Tech said.
There are over 26,000 City residential and commercial utility accounts separated into four billing cycles or zones each month.