Las Cruces Utilities (LCU) has implemented a process to assist furloughed federal workers as they face challenges paying their utility bills in absence of a paycheck. “We empathize with our federal colleagues who are in this unfortunate situation through no fault of their own. We at the City can’t replace the paycheck, but we can help ease the sting by ensuring that these families have utilities service for the duration of the shutdown,” said Mayor Ken Miyagishima.
When contacted by federal workers needing assistance, LCU staff will obtain a copy of their federal government ID, name, address, account number and phone number. The information will be forwarded to the billing and receivables supervisor, who will work directly with the customers. “Those accounts will be noted in the billing system so late payment and shutoff fees are not applied in the standard manner,” said City Manager Stuart C. Ed. “The supervisor will maintain contact with the furloughed customers as long as the shutdown lasts.”
At the conclusion of the shutdown, regular billing will resume so the affected customers will be made aware of the amount due. Utilities associates will then work with them to make payment arrangements or to receive other applicable assistance using LCU resources.
“We are here to help,” Miyagishima said.