Spread Out Those Utility Payments over Time

3/16/2021
NEWS BRIEFS
You're watching Montezuma Local News. Watch all our stories at MontezumaLocal.NEWS. Download our podcasts, and follow us on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Send story ideas to ideas@thelocalnews.us. Advertise with us: Sales@thelocalnews.us

The number of Cortez water customers who can't pay their bills has more than tripled over last year. Now the city of Cortez is offering some relief.

VIEW FULL TRANSCRIPT +

1

00:00:00,730 --> 00:00:01,940

If you're having a hard time

2

00:00:01,940 --> 00:00:03,440

paying your winter water bill,

3

00:00:03,440 --> 00:00:05,310

you're probably dreading summer,

4

00:00:05,310 --> 00:00:08,060

when water use increases dramatically.

5

00:00:08,060 --> 00:00:10,780

But now, the City of Cortez has a solution

6

00:00:10,780 --> 00:00:13,120

to that higher summer water bill.

7

00:00:13,120 --> 00:00:14,870

You're watching the "Local News Network"

8

00:00:14,870 --> 00:00:17,330

brought to you by Keesee Motors in Cortez

9

00:00:17,330 --> 00:00:19,030

and FASTSIGNS of Durango.

10

00:00:19,030 --> 00:00:20,780

I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

11

00:00:20,780 --> 00:00:24,200

The City of Cortez now

offers an even-payment plan

12

00:00:24,200 --> 00:00:26,620

to make it easier for Cortez water users

13

00:00:26,620 --> 00:00:28,720

to pay their water and trash bills.

14

00:00:28,720 --> 00:00:30,720

It's called the Budget Billing Plan,

15

00:00:30,720 --> 00:00:33,880

and the city unveiled the

payment option this month.

16

00:00:33,880 --> 00:00:36,760

Under the plan, users can

opt to pay the same amount

17

00:00:36,760 --> 00:00:39,980

every month based on a

one-year billing cycle.

18

00:00:39,980 --> 00:00:42,590

If you pay more, you

will receive a credit.

19

00:00:42,590 --> 00:00:44,950

If you haven't paid enough,

you'll have to make up

20

00:00:44,950 --> 00:00:47,680

the balance at the end

of the 12-month cycle.

21

00:00:47,680 --> 00:00:49,460

Your bill may be more in winter

22

00:00:49,460 --> 00:00:52,340

than it's been when you pay

for water used that month,

23

00:00:52,340 --> 00:00:54,940

but it's likely to be less in summer.

24

00:00:54,940 --> 00:00:57,470

Utility billing clerk, David Schaak,

25

00:00:57,470 --> 00:00:59,957

says, "The city decided

to offer the option

26

00:00:59,957 --> 00:01:01,617

"because so many utility users

27

00:01:01,617 --> 00:01:03,647

"were having trouble paying their bills

28

00:01:03,647 --> 00:01:07,630

"as a result of lay-offs or

cut-backs during the pandemic."

29

00:01:07,630 --> 00:01:08,930

Usually, I

30

00:01:08,930 --> 00:01:10,570

do a,

31

00:01:10,570 --> 00:01:14,320

it's called a door-tagging

for late people,

32

00:01:14,320 --> 00:01:18,610

and then, in a couple days,

then it's time to shut 'em off

33

00:01:18,610 --> 00:01:20,650

for late payments.

34

00:01:20,650 --> 00:01:23,993

This year, since the

governor won't let us,

35

00:01:25,010 --> 00:01:25,940

we don't put

36

00:01:27,250 --> 00:01:29,990

late fees on, and we also don't

37

00:01:31,550 --> 00:01:36,080

shut anybody off, and we

just ask that they pay

38

00:01:36,080 --> 00:01:38,270

as much as they can,

39

00:01:38,270 --> 00:01:39,750

and

40

00:01:39,750 --> 00:01:43,093

I'll work with them as much as I can, but,

41

00:01:43,980 --> 00:01:45,823

you know, it's probably,

42

00:01:47,810 --> 00:01:50,510

the list is probably tripled

43

00:01:50,510 --> 00:01:55,040

since the COVID started.

There's a catch, of course.

44

00:01:55,040 --> 00:01:57,600

To participate, you must be up to date

45

00:01:57,600 --> 00:01:59,870

on your utility bills, and if you receive

46

00:01:59,870 --> 00:02:01,960

two delinquent notices during the year,

47

00:02:01,960 --> 00:02:05,010

you'll be removed from

the even-payment plan.

48

00:02:05,010 --> 00:02:07,410

The base bill for a residential water user

49

00:02:07,410 --> 00:02:10,030

is a little more than $46 for trash

50

00:02:10,030 --> 00:02:12,550

and the first 1,000 gallons used.

51

00:02:12,550 --> 00:02:14,650

Customers pay a little

more than three dollars

52

00:02:14,650 --> 00:02:18,260

for every 1,000 gallons

used after the base rate.

53

00:02:18,260 --> 00:02:22,040

Average bill for a family of

four is about $60 a month.

54

00:02:22,040 --> 00:02:24,330

Cortez provides water and trash services

55

00:02:24,330 --> 00:02:26,960

to about 3,700 customers.

56

00:02:26,960 --> 00:02:28,960

To learn more, contact David Schaak

57

00:02:28,960 --> 00:02:32,933

at utility.billing@cityofcortez.com.

58

00:02:34,060 --> 00:02:35,390

Thanks for watching this edition

59

00:02:35,390 --> 00:02:36,780

of the "Local News Network."

60

00:02:36,780 --> 00:02:39,380

Be sure to stay on top of

our latest news stories

61

00:02:39,380 --> 00:02:41,440

through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook,

62

00:02:41,440 --> 00:02:43,980

or "Our Local News" network websites.

63

00:02:43,980 --> 00:02:45,423

I'm Wendy Graham Settle.

PAST montezuma NEWS STORIES

Copyright © Local News Network Inc. All Rights Reserved. | Privacy Policy
JOIN OUR TEAM