Corpus Christi mayor Paulette M. Guajardo announced on Tuesday relief efforts to help residents who faced high utility bills related to winter storm Uri.
The powerful storm system hit Texas with freezing temperatures last week, turning off the electricity and breaking wires for dozens of homes and businesses.
Every member of the city council has been directly involved in disaster relief, from distributing water blankets to disaster recovery, the mayor said.
Efforts won’t stop there as the city has outlined cleanup and relief efforts to support residents, many of whom will soon face sizeable bills for water, gas, and plumbing.
This is how it collapses:
Water bill relief
The program will help offset the cost of abnormally high water charges related to leaking taps, leaking pipes, and increased consumption from accommodating additional guests due to power outages.
Water customers should contact the city’s utility business office and request a review of their bills for January and February. Then they pay an amount equal to January or February water charges, whichever is lower.
Residents and businesses are entitled to relief. Large volume customers who use 100,000 gallons or more of water daily do not qualify.
No late fees will be charged for the February billing cycles. Late charges will resume in April for March billing cycles. The separation of accounts with late payments will also be suspended until March.
To request assistance, send an email to the Utility Business Office at: [email protected]
Include the following:
- First and Last Name
- Address given on the account
- Account number (if known)
- A good number to call back
Customers who do not have access to e-mail can call 361-826-2489 and check with the Utility Business Office Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aid requests must be received by April 16 at 5:00 p.m.
Plumbing repairs relief
Low-income homeowners who have suffered damage to their aqueduct or water system due to the extreme weather event in February can seek help. The city has allocated $ 320,000 in community development block grants available for this program.
To qualify, you must fall under one of the following conditions:
- The household income is 50 percent or less than the area median income.
- Homeowners are 62 years of age or older
- Homeowners are disabled
- Homeowners have been denied Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance
- And homeowners must be up to date on their property tax and mortgage payments, must not have judgments or liens on child support or property taxes, must not be in a flood zone, and be ready to sign a grant agreement.
Complete the application online from Wednesday at www.cctexas / gmd. Residents can also download a copy of the application, fill it in and email it to [email protected] If you don’t have internet access, you can call 361-826-3010 for assistance with your application.
As applicants qualify, the city’s staff conduct in-house assessments to develop the scope of work. The employees then approve the scope of development for the contractor’s offers and award the offer to the winning contractor. The city will pay the contractors directly for their work
The city is working to help with gas bills
According to Guajardo, helping customers with their gas bills is a lot more complicated. The city obtains its liquefied natural gas from a third party. The gas gas is purchased at market prices and then passed on to customers
The extreme weather and the increasing consumption of gas or their home generators, heaters and chimneys by customers resulted in a market increase in gas prices for city dwellers and businesses.
From February 12-19, gas prices rose from an average monthly price of $ 4.09 per 1,000 cubic feet to over $ 100 per day, Guajardo said. The increase in these bills will be felt “for a very long time,” Guajardo said.
“To put this into perspective, this price hike has caused the cost of natural gas to residents, businesses and large consumers to rise from just over $ 1 million in January to nearly $ 10 million in February,” said the mayor.
The city is working with their supplier to come up with an affordable plan for customers that will allow them to pay back the cost over time. As the city works on it, it charges customers $ 9.05 per 1,000 cubic feet. This pricing would reflect February usage without the price increases during the winter storm.
City officials expect the plan to be completed in about a month.
Clean up brushes
The city will begin a city-wide winter storm cleanup on Monday. Appliances and housewares are not picked up in the brush cycle program.
Starting Monday, residents will be able to view a map of the city-wide collection areas at www.cctexas.com/stormcleanup. Residents should look at the published schedule so as not to hide their brush too early.
City crews begin brush collection between South Padre Island Drive and Ocean Drive and work northwest towards Calallen. A contractor will also begin collecting waste on North Padre Island and Flour Bluff.
- The winter storm brush cleaning is a one-time collection.
- Residents who miss this collection will have to wait for their next regularly scheduled brush collection.
- Residents can also drop off their brushes in the JC Elliott brush dispensing area. The brush dispensing area is usually open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sundays. However, the opening times of the brush dispensing area have been extended and the center is open 7 days a week from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Brush items include: trees, branches, bushes, palm fronds, and other foliage damaged by the winter storm.
- Bulky items such as mattresses, carpets and appliances will NOT be picked up.
- Objects must not block sidewalks, passageways, rainwater ditches or driveways.
- The brush must be on the side of the road to pick it up.
“We saw the best of our community during the winter storm crisis,” said Guajardo. “We have seen neighbors, friends, families and total strangers share food, energy, water, blankets, generators and heaters and support each other with every single aspect of that recovery. We have seen the best of Corpus Christi and I am very.” proud to be your mayor. “
Kathryn Cargo follows store openings and developments and reports on the effects of the decisions made by the city government.For our subscription options and specials, please visit Caller.com/subscribe.
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