Utility

CAMAS, WA – The City of Camas Finance department is now offering multiple ways to ease the burden of utility payments for Camas residents already in arrears and all Camas small businesses while the community continues to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

“We understand that our customers may be experiencing financial hardship due to the widespread closure of businesses across the country during the pandemic,” said Finance Director Cathy Huber Nickerson. “If you are experiencing financial hardship, maintaining a dialogue with the City about your situation and having a plan in place ensures we can work with you on the extended resolution of your utility balance.”

For residents already in arrears as of February 19, 2020:

  • Payment Plans – After setting up a plan, residents may make partial payments toward their utility balance in the amount and the frequency they can afford.
  • No Late Fees – For payments due from March through the duration of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, currently set to end on May 4, 2020, residential customers will not incur late fees on utility payments.
  • No Shutoffs – The City recognizes the vital need for access to water for sanitation during the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, residents with an outstanding balance for November/December 2019 service, originally due on Feb. 10, 2020, did not have their water service shut off on March 18 as planned. No shutoffs will occur through the duration of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, currently set to end on May 4, 2020. The balance will still be owing and may be paid in full or through a payment plan. No late fees will apply.

To set up a payment plan, residents currently in arrears must complete and submit the Residential Utility Assistance Payment Plan form.

Utilities cannot be suspended during a payment plan and charges will continue to accrue. For this reason, residents are encouraged to set up a payment plan with installments as large as possible.

The City will revisit these programs in late April and determine whether more residents and businesses need relief options. Moreover, if the current Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation is extended, the duration of these programs may be modified.

For small businesses, defined as those in incorporated Camas with fewer than 50 employees:

  • Payment Plans – After setting up a plan, small businesses may make partial payments toward their balance in the amount and frequency they can afford; or
  • Balance Deferment – Small businesses that are unable to fulfill a payment plan and have applied for a small business loan may be eligible to defer their utility balance while awaiting loan funds. Deferments can be up to three months long or until loan proceeds have been received.
  • No Late Fees – For payments due from March through the duration of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, currently set to end on May 4, 2020, residential customers will not incur late fees on utility payments.
  • No Shutoffs – The City recognizes the vital need for access to water for sanitation during the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, residents with an outstanding balance for November/December 2019 service, originally due on Feb. 10, 2020, did not have their water service shut off on March 18 as planned. No shutoffs will occur through the duration of the Stay Home, Stay Healthy proclamation, currently set to end on May 4, 2020. The balance will still be owing and may be paid in full or through a payment plan. No late fees will apply.
  • Temporary Opt-Out of Garbage Collection – While their operations are closed, small business may elect to stop garbage service from City of Camas.

Utilities cannot be suspended during a payment plan or deferment, and charges will continue to accrue. For this reason, businesses are encouraged to set up a payment plan with installments as large as possible or to make partial payments during a deferment. Both options limit balance accrual.

To pursue a payment plan or deferment, small businesses must complete and submit the Small Business Utility Assistance form.

The City will continue to monitor feedback from residents and businesses, as well as the guidance of public agencies, to determine future modifications and support mechanisms. For an up-to-date listing of changes to city programming and operations during the COVID-19 crisis, the public is encouraged to visit www.cityofcamas.us/ourcommunity/covid-19.

Members of the public who have a need or concern may contact administration@cityofcamas.us or 360-834- 6864. For assistance with errands, food, supplies and more, residents may call the City of Camas Resource Helpline, 360-382-1300, Monday-Friday, 9 am – 6 pm.

To request a payment plan, deferment or waiver, residents already in arrears and small businesses should contact the City of Camas Finance Department at finance@cityofcamas.us or 360-834-2462, Monday- Friday, 9 am- 5 pm.

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