City encourages applications for assistance program
The San Marcos community is being encouraged to apply for the Utility Assistance Program, implemented by the city. Utility late fees and disconnections were postponed beginning in March 2020 and were set to help those impacted by COVID-19 and February's snowstorm.
“Obviously everybody knows the community was impacted by it just like everyone was in the United States,” City of San Marcos Finance Director Maria Kalka said. “So, I think that the biggest thing that we want to make sure of is that we’re doing our part to help them. ”
Those interested in assistance must apply and qualify for the program. Applications can be printed or filled out online and can be found on the city's website. English and Spanish applications are available.
“On the application, they have to check a box and just provide a brief description of, you know, how they were impacted whether due to COVID or Winter Storm Uri,” Kalka said.
Applicants must be at least 60 days past due to receive relief. The program can pay a maximum of $1,500 per account. Due to limited funding, the program is on a first come first serve basis for customers.
The program was first implemented in early June and is only available for residential customers.
Late fees and disconnections are proposed to resume on Aug. 31, 2021. City council will vote during their next meeting to confirm the date.
“This is money that we want the residents, you know, to take advantage of and utilize because these funds were set aside specifically for this,” Kalka said.
Only one application can be submitted per customer. Customers are expected to pay any remaining balances after they have received assistance from the program.
“This utility assistance program is designed to provide an opportunity for our residents to receive the help they need to move past their current financial hardships and begin again with a clean slate,” according to the assistance program’s webpage.
Electronic applications can be submitted to sanmarcostx.gov/utilityassistance.
Paper copies of the application can be returned to a San Marcos Utility Customer Service Counter at the City Hall Municipal Building, the San Marcos Electric Utility Office, emailing Utility Billing, mailing to Attn: Utility Billing, City of San Marcos, 630 E. Hopkins, San Marcos, TX 78666 or fax to 855-759-2835.