The City of Brentwood announced that as of January 2022, the process of water shutoffs will resume due to lack of payment.
This means, approximately 800 customers who have past due accounts will need to begin making payments or sign up for payment arrangements or be at risk of having services shutoff. This comes after the city had been following State Law regarding shutoffs in which the moratorium lasted nearly two years.
According to Kerry Breen, Finance Director at the city, the total past due balance across all three of our utilities (water, sewer and garbage) is about $2.2 million–an average of $2,750 per customer.
Breen pointes out prior to the pandemic, the city would have past due balances of around $600,000. As such, our past due amounts are approximately $1.6 million above what would be considered “normal”. This past due amount includes amounts that are being paid down over time via payment arrangements.
“The City is doing everything we can to avoid shutoffs, including emails, courtesy notices, social media posts and direct phone calls to customers,” said Breen. “We have guided residents to County assistance programs and have applied for and will receive some State funding which will help to directly reduce past due water balances. We have also been offering payment arrangements, allowing customers who have fallen behind to pay off their past due balance over time. Although the State moratorium on shutoffs ended December 31, we do not plan on conducting any shutoffs until February to allow more time for customer outreach and to reduce the number of impacted residents as much as possible.”
Breen said water shutoffs will not occur until February which gives customers several more weeks to make arrangements.
“We will have a much better idea of the potential shutoffs 3-7 days prior to the scheduled shut off date when we can make final outreach and see where we are at. Even then we shut off in cycles (1/4 of the City receives a bill every week) and it will take the entire month of February before shutoffs would work their way through all four billing cycles in the City,” said Breen.
The city added that it understands that many residents are experiencing financial challenges as a result of the pandemic. The City of Brentwood is offering flexible payment agreements to help residents left behind. Contact Utility Billing at (925) 516-5415 to analyze options.
If you need financial assistance as a landlord or tenant, they might be able to help you. Your website is CA COVID-19 Rent Relief – Housing Is Key.
For additional information or for assistance regarding eligibility and application, call CA’s COVID-19 Rental Relief Call Center at 833-430-2122.