FORT WRIGHT, Ky. – Sanitation District No. 1 announced today that it is beginning preparations for a return to normal business operations in January after months of suspended penalties and water disconnections due to nonpayment.
Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order on Oct. 19 ending the suspension of utility disconnections for nonpayment as of November 6, continuing the waiver of penalties on late payments for residential customers through December 31 and setting parameters for default payment arrangements for residential customers.
“SD1 appreciates the fact that even though these restrictions are being lifted by the governor on November 6, some of our customers may still be enduring hardships during these unprecedented times,” said Executive Director Adam Chaney. “That is why we have made the decision to delay the reinstatement of disconnections and penalties until after January 1.”
To comply with the Governor’s order, the District has begun the process of placing all residential customers with a past due balance into a default payment arrangement that will require monthly payments equal to 1/6 of the past due amount plus the current monthly charges. Nonresidential customers will not be defaulted into a payment plan, and will need to call SD1 to make payment arrangements.
Letters are going out this week to customers with a past due balance explaining their options and laying out the terms of residential payment arrangement plans. Customers can pay the full amount due immediately to avoid entering into a payment arrangement, and can pay more than is due under the default agreement to shorten the term of the arrangement.
Customers who pay their new monthly charges and the past-due payment arrangement on time will remain in good standing and will not be subject to penalties or disconnection for nonpayment.
“We know there are customers who will continue to struggle,” said Chaney. “The six-month payment arrangement will help those hit the hardest get their accounts caught up over time. Despite COVID-19 and its impact on our community, the vital services SD1 provides across our region to manage wastewater and storm water never stop. SD1 believes the gradual return to normal business operations is the appropriate balance between the economic realities of our customers and our commitment to reliably protect public health, property and the environment and to support the economic vitality of our community.”
SD1 encourages customers who are facing economic hardships to contact the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, which has partnered with Team Kentucky to assist those in need of assistance with their water and sanitation bills through the Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund.
In addition, SD1 continues to offer a Customer Assistance Program in partnerships with the Brighton Center for low-volume customers who qualify. Additional information about the SD1 program and the Healthy at Home Utility Relief Fund are available at https://sd1.org/164/Customer-Assistance-Program.
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SD1 is responsible for the collection and treatment of northern Kentucky’s wastewater and also serves as the regional storm water management agency. SD1 is the second largest public sewer utility in Kentucky, serving more than 312,000 residents throughout Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. SD1 maintains approximately 1,662 miles of sanitary-sewer system pipeline, 124 wastewater pumping stations, 15 flood pump stations, seven package treatment plants, three major wastewater treatment plants, 428 miles of storm-sewer system and 32,728 storm-sewer structures.