Visalia gets major share of Cal Water’s $83M pandemic aid

Over $83 million allocated by the state to assist with past-due water bills during COVID-19, with significant funds directed to Visalia customers

VISALIA — In a major boost to local relief efforts, California Water Service has announced that it secured an additional $83 million in state funding to help customers manage past-due water and wastewater balances accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, the Visalia District of Cal Water will receive $2,639,320.64 of this funding, with the Selma District slated to receive $882,856.49.

These funds have been provided through the California Extended Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program, administered by the State Water Resources Control Board. This initiative supports both residential and commercial customers by covering debts that accrued between June 16, 2021, and December 31, 2022, adding to a previous allocation of $20.8 million for earlier pandemic-related arrears.

“We wanted to apply for these funds to help customers impacted by the pandemic,” Martin A. Kropelnicki, Chairman and CEO of California Water Service (Cal Water) said via announcement. “We appreciate the funding provided by the State of California to help ease our customers’ burden, and we also encourage any customers who are still struggling financially to take advantage of our numerous assistance programs. We are here to help.”

Within the next 60 days, Cal Water will notify customers in all affected service areas, including Visalia and Selma, if a credit will be applied to their accounts. The credits themselves will be applied within the same timeframe, providing timely financial relief.

For customers with outstanding balances that predate or postdate the covered period, Cal Water continues to offer various penalty-free payment plans and extensions, aimed at preventing disruptions in water service. Additionally, income-eligible customers may benefit from Cal Water’s Customer Assistance Program, which offers a discount on monthly service charges to qualifying lower-income households.

This financial aid, drawn from the federal American Rescue Plan Act, brings Cal Water’s total secured funds through both the original and extended arrearage payment programs to over $103 million, underscoring the utility’s commitment to supporting its communities during challenging times.

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