City of Lynchburg to resume water cutoffs in March

Published: Jan. 13, 2021 at 6:17 PM EST
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LYNCHBURG, Va. (WDBJ) - Residents and businesses across Lynchburg City will soon face a new challenge: water cutoffs.

City council voted Tuesday night to resume that process, with a couple reasons for doing so.

“If we continued not to cut people off and not get people on track to get their bills caught up, then it’s just going to get worse for the customer to be able to get caught up in the future,” said Tim Mitchell, Lynchburg Water Resources director.

Mitchell says the city has met the threshold set by the state to resume those cutoffs.

With that process set to begin in March, folks will have to act now to make sure their water stays running.

One option is the COVID-19 Municipal Utility Relief Program.

“It’s really on a first-come, first-serve basis. So if you’re interested in applying for the relief funds, I encourage you to do that sooner rather than later,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell says the city has been allocated $344,000 to go toward helping those delinquent accounts.

He says there’s no guarantee of extra funds beyond that.

“Because once they’re gone, there’s no guarantee that there’s gonna be any more in the future, so take advantage of them while they’re available,” said Mitchell, adding about $86,000 worth of applications has already been submitted.

Repayment plans will also be offered to those who are still behind.

Folks can set up a 12-month plan to get back on track.

“Generally the repayment plan will be about 12 months, but it’s gonna be somewhat flexible, depending upon the outstanding balance that you owe,” said Mitchell.

Lynchburg Water Resources is also considering raising the water cutoff threshold.

Currently, that amount is an overdue bill of 60 days or more and of $35 or greater. Mitchell says they’re exploring avenues for raising that amount, as more than 1,000 accounts stand subject to cutoff.

More notices will be sent out this week to those who are still behind.

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