INDEPENDENCE, Mo. – As the pandemic continues to take a financial toll on families, including people who have lost their jobs, city leaders in Independence are giving back.
The City Council of Independence approved a utility credit for City of Independence electric utility customers amounting to $193.82.
“I thought it was good because lately bills been astronomical around here,” Trey Day said. “That 200 dollars is a big break on that $500 bill, especially with 3 kids running around.”
Like Day, many people in Independence said they are not only relieved, but thankful.
“This helped out a lot. Times been rough and it came at a really good time,” Eric Gossey said. “I was happy because I have three other rental houses and all the bills.”
The credit is a result of $22.5 million surplus discovered for the city’s power and light department.
A portion was used to pay off debt, the other divided between close to 60,000 people.
“We haven’t been doing shut offs, we haven’t been charging people late fees, we haven’t been charging credit card processing fees for a long, long, time. Just to be able to give people this little bit of relief was a really nice thing to be able to do,” said Independence Mayor, Eileen Weir.
Weir said this is the first time this kind of assistance was provided by the city.
“We felt very good about being able to do this. I know people are struggling for a variety of reasons, a lot of our businesses are closed or have been temporarily closed and operating with reduced businesses. It was great for our businesses to help them out as well,” Weir said.
Customers began seeing the credit beginning Feb. 11.
This credit does not include municipal accounts, private lighting accounts, water or sewer only customers, and will be filtered based on customer account numbers to ensure each customer receives a credit.
No customer will receive a check or refund for this amount as it will be applied toward current or past due charges on their account.
Customers wishing to make payment arrangements or with questions regarding their accounts are encouraged to contact Utilities Customer Service at (816)325-7930 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.