City adds funds to COVID relief program to help residents with overdue utility bills

Residents could get relief for Louisville Water, MSD bills
Good news for Louisville residents who've fallen behind on certain utility bills as a result of...
Good news for Louisville residents who've fallen behind on certain utility bills as a result of the COVID pandemic. (Source: pexels.com)
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 9:24 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 25, 2021 at 9:55 AM EDT
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(Information provided by the Mayor’s Office)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the city will add $2.5 million to its COVID-19 Utility Relief program to help residents behind on their Louisville Water and Louisville MSD bills as a result of COVID-19.

The funds will go toward the Louisville Water Company/MSD’s Drops of Kindness program to assist residents with a past-due amount on an active Louisville Water/MSD account. The outstanding balance must have occurred between March 16, 2020, and June 30, 2021, and customers will need to attest they have had a financial hardship during the pandemic.

Qualifying customers can receive a one-time credit of up to $1,000 on their Louisville Water/MSD bill.

Funding comes from the city’s first round of spending of its federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) dollars, which were targeted at urgent needs.

“Many of the people being helped by our COVID-19 Utility Relief program have never fallen behind on their bills before the pandemic impacted their jobs and their hours,” Fischer said. “We are grateful that the ARP funding allows us to help them get back on track.”

The application process for Metro COVID-19 Relief Louisville Water Company/MSD Assistance is as follows:

Eligibility

  • Have a residential account in Jefferson County
  • Have a past-due balance sometime between March 16, 2020 – June 30, 2021
  • Identify a COVID-19 based financial hardship
  • There is no income requirement to receive the credit; customers will respond to a series of prompts to verify their eligibility.

How to apply

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen community and government work together to address affordability with the Drops of Kindness program,” said Spencer Bruce, President and CEO of Louisville Water. “We thank Louisville Metro for this much-needed assistance.”

“We recognize the financial difficulties many are facing with the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the support and payment relief these dollars will bring to many in our community,” said MSD Executive Director Tony Parrott.

Since the pandemic began last year, customers who fell behind on paying their Louisville Water and MSD bills did not face an interruption in their water service. The number of customers with outstanding balances grew to 18,000 in June 2020, with more than 70 percent of those customers having never missed a payment before or only one time.

In response, Louisville Water distributed Louisville Metro’s initial $4 million in COVID Relief in early 2021 to 11,765 residential customers, utilizing a new Louisville Metro COVID Relief Portal. Louisville Metro also assisted more than 11,400 LG&E customers with outstanding balances with $6 million in utility assistance. Funding for these programs was made possible through general fund dollars freed up by Federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Security).

The Louisville Water/MSD assistance is in addition to $2.5 million announced in July to help customers who have fallen behind on LG&E bills due to a COVID-19 financial impact. For eligibility and to schedule an appointment for help with an LG&E bill, call 502-977-6636 or visit online at LGEHelp.itfrontdesk.com. The toll-free service is currently open and is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

For more information on both programs, residents can visit http://www.louisvilleky.gov/government/resilience-and-community-services, call Metro United Way’s help referral service at 211, or Metro311 by simply dialing 311 or (502) 574-5000 or email metro.311@louisvilleky.gov.

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