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By Whitney Wyatt/The Red River Sun—
CHILDRESS – After four months of no late fees and no cutoffs, the City of Childress will resume water cutoffs on July 25.
Childress City Manager Kevin Hodges said the Childress City Council made the decision to waive the late fees and cutoffs until future notice because of COVID-19 on March 18. Childress citizens have not been required to pay their water bills since.
“We did this because we knew families would be affected by the coronavirus, and some would lose their jobs temporarily,” Hodges explained. “But we wanted to continue to give them water.”
While the Childress Water Department waived all late fees, citizens will now have to start paying off their bills. Hodges said Childress City Council member Gary Clark suggested forming a committee to figure out a process of how to do this. The committee consisted of Clark, Hodges and D’Linda Dockery.
The committee developed a formula on how people would repay their old bills, Hodges explained. If people agree to the terms, they will pay the current month’s bill and 65% of the bill they owe each month until it’s paid off.
“We are trying to hold their hand along the way to get their bills paid,” Hodges said. “We are writing up individual agreements with the same formula on a case-by-case basis.
In a matter of months, they’ll pay off the bills.”
But if someone doesn’t, the City of Childress will resume penalties and cutoffs. Hodges said this has to happen because some people’s bills were getting so high, they would never be able to pay them.
For those who have questions, Hodges said to contact the Childress Water Department at 940-937-3683.