Waynesboro City Commission Votes to Temporarily Suspend Shut-offs

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   The Waynesboro City Commission met in regular session on Friday, April 3rd, 2020 at 11:30 a.m. at City Hall in Waynesboro. All commissioners were in attendance, including Mayor Jeff Howell, Vice Mayor Charlie Mosley, Commissioner Chris Bevis, Commissioner Jeff Davis, and Commissioner Tony Creasy. City Manager John Hickman, City Attorney Josh Polk, and City Recorder Paige Jackson were in attendance as well. Those present observed social distancing guidelines, remaining at least six feet apart during the meeting.

   Utility late fees and disconnections were the first item of business on the agenda. After a lengthy discussion, the commissioners agreed that the golf course should remain closed for the safety of the citizens.

   City Manager Hickman addressed the commission regarding city utility late fees, disconnection fees, and the disconnection of service for nonpayment. Following another lengthy discussion, the commission agreed to suspend shut-off notices, late fees, and disconnect fees, along with utility shut-offs for nonpayment, for the next 60 days. Commissioner Davis made a motion to approve, and Commissioner Creasy seconded the motion. The motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   Next, the commission discussed the length of time for extensions on bills. Vice Mayor Mosley made a motion to extend customers’ balance until June 10th, 2020. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Bevis, and passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   City Manager Hickman then informed the commission that he had researched how other cities are handling late fees and disconnection for nonpayment. He said that some cities are asking the customer to provide verification that they were laid off or unable to work due to the COVID-19 virus. After much discussion, the commission decided that there would be no need for City of Waynesboro customers to provide this type of verification. Commissioner Bevis made a motion that verification would not be required. Commissioner Davis seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

   The commission then discussed implementing a process for repayment of utility bills after June 20th, 2020. A motion was made by Vice Mayor Mosley that customers would be required to pay 10% of the past due balance and their current bill until the balance is paid in full. Commissioner Creasy seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   With no further business to come before the commission, Commissioner Creasy made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Mosley, and the meeting was adjourned.