City temporarily halts disconnection of water services

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DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — The city council approved temporarily stopping the disconnection of water services for those affected by the impact of COVID-19.

The measure covers those accounts “with payment due dates and/or water shut off dates on or after October 6 and upon determination of COVID-19 eligibility by the City of Decatur or its designated social service agency,” officials said in a description of the agenda items within the council packet. It will be in effect until the council ends the emergency order.

In the council packet handed out prior to the meeting, the City stated, “Although not included in the council action, as a practical matter, if the City Council approves this action, staff will likely suspend all water shut-offs for a period of time sufficient to get this program up and running (two to three weeks), before resuming water shut-offs at properties that do not meet COVID eligibility.”

During the meeting, City officials said they would work with Dove, Inc. to determine those who would benefit from the program. The criteria would be the same as for rent and utility relief.

For those who are eligible for the program, their bills will accumulate. Those who are able to make payments are encouraged to do so.

Additionally, Dove was the recipient of $511,810 from the City. Officials said the funds are from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The act “provides funding to enable our community to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus through providing quality subsidized housing and expanding economic opportunities for low-and-moderate-income persons through HUD programs.”

Officials said Dove was selected for the money because of their history of helping Decatur residents. They stated Dove Financial Services has a system to help with rent, mortgage and utilities.

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