News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

City working with citizens on utility bills

Recognizing that Sisters residents and business owners may be under severe financial stress due to the COVID-19-related shutdown, the City of Sisters has announced that it will not shut off utility services or charge late fees over payment of bills in April.

“We’re not doing shutoffs and we’re not going to charge late fees,” City Manager Cory Misley told The Nugget on Monday, March 30.

Those who need assistance with their water bill should contact Kim Keeton at City Hall, 541-323-5209 to inquire about programs. Two programs exist for residential customers in hardship, one of them in partnership with Sisters Family Access Network (FAN). Misely noted that it is unclear how well the programs are fitted to dealing with COVID-19-related hardship cases.

“Part of what we want to do is assess the need and go from there,” Misley said.

This first cycle of billing since the crisis began will be used “for us to know what the need is and also how we can help in some way.”

The water system is an “enterprise” program for the City of Sisters — there are costs associated with delivering water to Sisters accounts.

“The bills are still due,” Misley said. But the City is trying to find ways to be flexible and supportive during a time of obvious distress.

Misley noted that businesses may want to shut off their service if they are not operating. He advises business owners, like residents, to contact Keeton directly to discuss their situation.

 

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