Langley votes to defer utility payment late fees

The city of Langley has decided to extend the suspension of late fees for utility payments until one full billing cycle after the end of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council members discussed Monday night how long utility payments should be delayed, and eventually settled on two months after the governor’s declaration of the pandemic’s end with a 5-0 vote of approval. No utility disconnections will be allowed during this time.

During the discussion, Councilman Thomas Gill suggested waiting until the end of 2020, as he believes people’s economic situations will be impacted for the rest of the calendar year.

Mayor Tim Callison argued that waiting so long may be too long of a period, instead suggesting the end of one billing cycle, or two months.

Councilwoman Dominique Emerson recommended that concerned citizens should go through the process of payment plans.

Callison said five accounts, commercial and residential, so far have taken advantage of utility payment plans, which other citizens may choose to utilize during these times.

While Callison said the city cannot legally prevent evictions of business owners during a period of emergency, council members recommended that the mayor write a letter to the governor asking him to extend the moratorium on eviction of citizens and also to consider small businesses with less than 150 employees.

An earlier version of this story said the city of Langley decided to defer utility payments. It also said council members recommended that the mayor write a letter to the governor asking him to extend the moratorium on eviction of business owners. We regret the errors.

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