On Thursday, October 22nd, customers in Colonial Heights received a water bill stating that their bill would be due just four days later, on October 26th.
The Department of Finance, however, attached a letter with the bill explaining that difficulties lead to them being unable to print the bills on time. “In August, the City implemented a new utility billing system, and things went relatively smoothly for the first month,” said Sheila Minor, the Director of Finance. “When we ran the bills for this cycle two weeks ago, however, the bills calculated but would not print.”
Even though customers are not currently being charged late fees or disconnections due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the letter informed the affected customers that the due date for this cycle would be November 9th.
Colonial Heights bills their water customers every-other-month, and the letter did not clarify if the new due date would be the 9th of every-other-month, or if this would only be an extension for the current cycle and the billing schedule would revert back to the 25th with the next cycle. That would reduce the time between bills by 15 days, which is often a full pay cycle for people.
Virginia Scope contacted the billing department and was told that the billing cycle is in fact going to revert back to normal, making the due date for the next cycle December 25th (or the workday after) for affected customers.
The letter from Minor said that the change was necessary due to the system that they were using being phased out by the vendor.
The new system will allow customers to look up their bill online, set up automatic payments, and receive their bills over email. “We look forward to rolling out these customer service enhancements over the coming months,” said Minor. “Thank you for your patience and understanding as we implement these exciting changes.”
This coverage is provided by a new media project happening in the Colonial Heights and Petersburg area, entitled Petersburg Scope.
This publication is a new project from Virginia Scope that will focus on supplementing news in Petersburg and Colonial Heights. Our goal is to ensure that the people who live in the area are as informed as possible about the decisions that their local leaders are making.
We also plan to stick around on a story to cover the effects of those decisions that are made. With everyone involved in this project having lived in this area for several years, we plan to provide up-close and in-depth coverage. Also, we are a fully-digital publishing platform, which gives us the freedom to tell the full story without any restrictions.
Petersburg Scope is fully-backed by the grassroots-funded Virginia Scope media platform, which covers news and politics across the Commonwealth. You can follow this page to stay up-to-date on everything as we go into the community and try to find answers to the questions that the people are asking.
Our homepage for articles on the Virginia Scope platform is located here: https://virginiascope.com/category/petersburg-scope/
You can also donate to the project here: https://www.paypal.com/donate…Thanks, and we are looking forward to working with the community!