Utility Service Board is once again urging customers impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic and in arrears--not to put too fine a point on it, the
Service Board is practically begging them--to contact the Utility Billing
Office now and arrange a flexible payment plan.
and almost certainly before the end of the year, the Utility will be forced
to shut off water service to customers who’ve made no move to pay on their
Dave Ryan noted at Tuesday’s meeting, the utility shut-off moratorium
ordered earlier this year by Gov. Holcomb expired on Aug. 14 and was not
extended. The moratorium on the charging of late penalties will expire on
Oct. 12. Indiana-American Water Company has indicated that it will begin
shutting off service to its delinquent customers on Nov. 3. And NIPSCO will
likely begin shutting off service to its own delinquent customers later in
To date, 1,158
Utility accounts are overdue, Ryan noted, totaling $96,000.
Ryan did say that
the most recent billing statement included a message to customers in
arrears, advising them to arrange a flexible payment plan as soon as
possible, and one customer has already taken that advice to heart and done
The next billing
statement on which the Utility will have the opportunity to begin assessing
late penalties will be issued Oct. 12. The next one after that: on Dec. 14.
Members made it
crystal clear that they have absolutely no appetite to have customers’ water
service shut off for late payment, and for that reason postponed, by an easy
consensus, making any decision until at least their next meeting, Oct. 19.
“I want to wait until the next billing schedule and see how many people sign
up for a repayment schedule,” Member John Schnadenberg offered.
“I think it’s going
to get worse before it gets better,” President Larry Brandt said. “I don’t
want to be the person who shuts off their water.”
And Member Scot
McCord made this plea: “If you’re one of the 1,158 people, please contact
the Utility to set something up. We’ll work with anybody to work something
out. You don’t want your water turned off at Christmas because you haven’t
reached out. We don’t want to shut anybody off. Please make arrangements to
pay your bill.”
“Flexible Payment Plan Policy,” adopted by the Service Board at its August
-- A customer must
request an application for a flexible payment plan online at