Lewis County PUD, Centralia City Light to Resume Past-Due Disconnections Later This Month

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Have an overdue utility bill? You might want to reach out to your service provider soon. 

Starting later this month, both the Lewis County Public Utility District and Centralia City Light will resume disconnecting services on accounts with past-due balances. This comes after a statewide moratorium on utility disconnections expired Sept. 30. 

“We are still getting our repayment plan up off the ground and we wanted to give people adequate time to get on a payment plan before they were disconnected,” said City of Centralia Finance Director Bret Brodersen. 

Late fees on past-due electricity, water, wastewater and stormwater accounts not covered during the moratorium for Centralia customers will resume starting the Nov. 25 billing date, and disconnections will resume following that billing cycle. Late penalties accrued following that billing cycle will also go back into effect. 

As of Oct. 25, a total of 589 Centralia City Light accounts were overdue by 30 days or more, General Manager M.L. Norton said. 

Of that total, 561 were residential accounts and 28 were commercial. Those accounts total $636,318 in overdue utility payments, Norton said. Before the pandemic, Centralia City Light would generally observe past-due balances of around $225,000. 

The city is currently offering repayment plans on all accounts 60 days or more past due. Financial assistance is also available through the Salvation Army, the Community Action Council and other programs. 

Customers with past-due balances can reach out to Centralia City Light by calling 360-330-7657, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. 

Willie Painter, the public affairs manager for the Lewis County Public Utility District, said Monday that a total of 716 PUD customers still owed roughly $454,359 in missed utility payments of 60 days or more. 

The Lewis County PUD plans on resuming disconnections before the end of November. 

“We’re really focusing and stressing on trying to reach these customers with past-due balances to either get them on a payment plan, get them access to financial assistance, or pay down part or all of their balance to avoid the risk of disconnection,” Painter said.

Lewis County PUD customer service can be reached at 800-562-5612 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.