Residential water cut-offs, penalties suspended for two months following snowstorm

Devine residents won’t see penalties for later water bill payments or have their water cut off for non-payment for the next two months following a unanimous decision by the Devine City Council during a Special meeting last Tuesday, March 2.
The issue was raised because of the February snowstorm that caused a number of burst pipes and water leaks across town.
Mayor Cory Thompson proposed skipping cut-offs and penalties for at least a month, which District 5 Councilwoman Debra Randall suggested bumping up to two months in order to cover two billing cycles.
Residents’ utility bill that will be mailed at the end of March will cover the time period from Feb. 12 to Mar. 15, which will be the first to reflect leaks caused by the storm.
Interim City Administrator Dora Rodriguez pointed out that people with high water bills can contact the City to work out a payment plan.
“If it’s real bad, they can always get with City Hall and actually do a contract where it pays out over a certain number of pay periods,” Thompson said.
A motion by District 4 Councilwoman Kathy Lawler and Randall to suspend cut-offs and penalties for the next two months passed 5-0 with the support of District 1 Councilman Rufino “Flipper” Vega, District 2 Councilman Steve Lopez, and District 3 Councilman David Espinosa.
Republic Services did not provide trash pickup the week of the storm, but because they picked up two weeks’ worth of residents’ garbage the next week, Council opted not to adjust or waive monthly garbage fees.
By Marly Davis
Staff Writer

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