The city of Boonville has adopted a program to help both local businesses and customers in the community amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The “Buy Boonville, Build Boonville” challenge allows for water and sewer rebates on customer bills.
The program started Friday and will run through at least June. For every $25 spent at local businesses or restaurants, the city will apply a $15 credit to a customer’s water/sewer bill. Residents must submit receipts to receive the credit and they must include the date and business name.
Customers must write their name as it appears on their water/sewer bill with their phone number and account number on the receipt. Receipts can then be scanned and emailed to email@example.com or can dropped off in a sealed envelope at the city drop boxes at Boonville City Hall on Main Street or Boonville Public Works on Locust Street.
Customers can get up to four credits, or up to $60 per account, for each month, City Manager Kate Fjell said.
“If someone has multiple accounts like a downtown business and they live in town, they can get $60 on each account,” she said.
Landlords, if they pay the water bill for their rentals, can get a credit for each unit.
Fjell learned about a similar rebate program happening in Oregon. She had information on that program sent to Boonville Director of Public Works M.L. Cauthon. Both agreed the credit program would be a “cool thing“ to do in Boonville.
Although the program will take effect on April 24, Fjell said people have already shared it on their social media pages and think it’s a good idea.
The city also has a secondary water/sewer bill relief program available, in addition to “Buy Boonville, Build Boonville.”
The city has stopped water shut-offs for nonpayment. That started March 19 and will continue through July 1. The $10 late-payment fee also was suspended Friday through July 1. Temporarily eliminating water shut-offs was a public safety consideration. The city did not want to prevent people from having the ability to wash their hands, Fjell said. It also is to assist those who may have lost their jobs due a furlough or some other reason preventing payment, she said.
Those who are unable to pay and accrue a water or sewer bill more than $150 will be able to make monthly payments for six months to pay that balance back down. Applications for the payment plan are available on the city’s website.
“This was created after consultation with several people, who have done installment plans in the past with certain customers on a case by case basis,” Fjell said. “We polled other communities to see what they were doing and that was really a common sentiment that people were doing an installment plan.”
The relief programs were not big customer versus little customer, or a residental and non-commercial approach. They are available to all customers, she said.
More information is available by calling the water billing office at 660-882-5479.
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