The City of Yuma invites residents who like to “give back” the opportunity to donate to enhance the fund that provides single-time bill-payment assistance to customers with temporary hardships.
The City introduces the Yuma Cares program, which is part of the utility payment assistance program that the City runs through the Western Arizona Council of Governments, or WACOG. Yuma Cares introduces the opportunity for more fortunate customers to choose to add additional money to their city services bill payment which would contribute to the fund that pays for the bill payment assistance program.
A voluntary program, it would be up to the donor as to how much they would choose to donate. One common method already used by a number of city services customers is the “round up” method, where the customer would round up his or her payment to a whole amount. For example, a bill of $118.66 could be rounded up to the nearest dollar, $119, or the nearest ten dollars, $120. The customer decides.
Another option would be to contribute a larger amount. This amount would perhaps be a better fit for a customer who had just received a large bonus or commission.
Now in its third year, the bill payment assistance program is currently funded through delinquency fees paid by customers. The program’s goal is to prevent customers who are behind on their payment due to temporary hardship from water service disconnection. The program also educates families on how to reduce consumption.
To receive this assistance through WACOG, customers must not have requested similar assistance within the same year, must not have other debt with the City and cannot have been found to have tampered with their water meter.
Donations through Yuma Cares would boost recent upgrades to the assistance program. The City has proposed to increase the maximum amount of payment assistance up to $250. Furthermore, if that $250 maximum amount exceeds the amount due, that remainder may serve as a credit balance for qualifying customers. Qualifications for this assistance are determined by WACOG on a case-by-case basis.
Also, customers who have experienced a hardship will no longer have to wait until they are past due to request assistance through this program.
To donate to Yuma Cares, visit www.yumaaz.gov, and under Quick Links click on the top option, Pay Your Water Bill. Follow your preferred option for payment, then round your payment up to the amount of your choosing.
To request assistance through this program, call the City’s customer service line at 373-5076 during business hours (7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. every other Friday), or call WACOG on Fridays at 928-782-3462.