Relief funds started to help unpaid Lynchburg City water bills

Published: Jul. 27, 2020 at 6:53 PM EDT
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - In 90-plus degree temperatures, running water is an important utility to have - a utility that over 1,000 people could lose as soon as early fall.

“Right now the cutoff is over 1,000, close to 1,100 cutoffs at this point,” said Tim Mitchell, Lynchburg Water Resources director.

Right now, close to 1,100 delinquent water bills total about $200,000 in the Hill City.

Lynchburg City officials now say residents could see water cutoffs as early as September.

Mitchell says while September isn’t a hard date, folks are encouraged to seek help if needed.

“We are encouraging residents to try to get their water bills current, ‘cause at some point we will resume cutoffs and we want to minimize the impacts to customers at that time,” said Mitchell.

One organization providing help is Interfaith Outreach Association.

Interfaith has started a water bill relief fund for those who are behind on their water bills because of COVID-19.

“We decided it would be a good idea to set up a fund just for water bills so that all that money could be used to pay people’s water bill,” said Shawne Farmer, Interfaith Outreach Association executive director.

To qualify, folks must show they’ve had a loss of income due to the pandemic.

Those who donate to the fund can get a tax donation slip while making sure the water isn’t cut off for their neighbors.

“We think it’s a win-win for people who want to help out but then also for people in the community who have high water bills,” said Farmer.

City officials also say a letter was sent to those with delinquent accounts that lists other local agencies providing relief funds.

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