City of Griffin addresses utility customers and residents on COVID-19 changes

STAFF REPORT :::

The city of Griffin seeks to remind customers of the importance of paying utility bills and other important information during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A press release issued Thursday expressed appreciation for residents’ patience and perseverance during this unique time in history, and acknowledged employees who are “tenaciously working around the clock to maintain a safe and secure environment for our citizens and visitors.”

The release also addressed city utility customers regarding their responsibility to pay bills in full and on time.

“Like many small businesses, our cash flow is not unlimited. Because of the importance of our utilities to our cash flow, which ultimately keeps our employees at your service and emergency personnel responding, we are confident that our citizens will responsibly pay their utility invoices in full and on time,” the release stated. “The city is taking measures to cooperate with utility customers who suffer from illness or financial hardship by being available to consult on a case-by-case basis.”

Although the Customer Service Center remains open and personal cashiers are available, city officials wish to limit face-to-face contact.

Payment procedures have been enhanced to allow additional drive-thru lanes, additional drop boxes, phone and web-based payments, electronic fund transfers and bank drafts.
Payments may also be mailed.

Third-party credit card processing fees charged on credit card payments made using the city’s online and phone services will be temporarily paid by the city of Griffin. However, due to processing and software changes, this change could take several business days. Officials anticipate the change as early as March 25 but say it could be as late as April 1.

Customers paying by credit card may want to inquire about the status of this change prior to making their payment.

In addition to social distancing, the need for proper hygiene is crucial to avoiding infection. The city is therefore suspending all disconnections for water nonpayment.

Authorities say this will not be an indefinite change and they stress the importance of consulting a Customer Service representative by phone or email rather than ignoring payment deadlines.

To work with the business community, the city of Griffin is extending the deadline for payment of Occupational Tax Certificates until May 1, 2020.

The city is assisting in coordinating disaster loan assistance through the United States Small Business Administration and urge residents to continue to support local businesses throughout this difficult economic time.

Residents are asked to monitor local news and social media for continuing updates.

For additional information about the city of Griffin, please visit the city’s website at www.cityofgriffin.com, Facebook at www.facebook.com/cityofgriffin or @CityofGriffin on Twitter.

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