CITY TO RESUME UTILITY SHUTOFFS
DUE TO NON-PAYMENT
**Suspension of shutoffs began March 17
**Will resume January 4, 2021;
**Residents advised to bring accounts into compliance
**Can still seek hardship status
RAPID CITY, SD--Beginning in January, the City will resume discontinuation of residential and commercial utility services for non-payment of utility bills. This practice was suspended in March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
City utility customers with overdue accounts will receive a notification letter in November and a reminder will be placed on the billing statements.
On March 17, the City announced discontinuation of utility service for non-payment would be suspended for local residents and businesses. Many municipalities and private utility companies provided similar moratoriums but nearly all have reinstated or resumed payment requirements.
"The COVID-19 pandemic caused hardship for many in our community and to help ease the burden on our utility customers, the City suspended discontinuing service for overdue accounts on March 17," said City Public Works Director Dale Tech. "We need to move toward resuming normal operations and will lift the suspension of discontinuing service for non-payment after the holidays."
Any Rapid City account that remains delinquent as of January 4, 2021 will be subject to discontinuation of utility service. Late fees which have been charged to accounts and remain unpaid on January 4 will be due and payable in full and will need to be paid before service is restored.
Citizens who continue to experience a significant financial hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for an exemption on a form available on the City's website www.rcgov.org/covid19. If granted, the hardship exemption may allow customers additional time to become current on their City utility account. The City will offer a short-term utility payment plan to those who may need this additional time.
"Our utility billing team is committed to working with those customers who were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and encourage residents to contact us to make arrangements to bring their accounts current before discontinuation of service resumes," said Tech.
In addition to a letter and utility bill notifications, the City will promote messaging on the City's website and social media platform.
Customers who may need financial assistance in bringing their accounts current are encouraged to contact 211 for the most up-to-date information on local, county and state resources. The State of South Dakota in collaboration with the South Dakota Housing Development Authority, 211 Helpline Center and partner agencies, are making available CARES Act funding to assist residents with housing and utility expenses. More information can be obtained at www.helplinecenter.org/sdcares .