Town of Granite Falls Utility Billing Update
GRANITE FALLS, NC (April 10, 2020) — During the COVID-19 and Stay-at-Home emergency, the Town of Granite Falls is working hard to support residents and utility customers. To help ensure residents can remain at home and slow the spread of the coronavirus, the Town of Granite Falls will not disconnect RESIDENTIAL water, wastewater and/or electric service due to late or non-payment and did not disconnect any utility services in March. In addition, effective April 1 and consistent with the NC Governor’s Executive Order 124, the Town is waiving penalties including late penalties and non-payment fees in addition to suspending residential utility disconnects for at least the next 60 days (May 31).
Please keep in mind that all customers are still responsible for paying for all usage. Customers should continue to make payments on their accounts to avoid accumulating large balances, even if they cannot pay in full. Since utility account balances will not be forgiven, only deferred, customers having trouble paying utility bills in full or on time are strongly urged to make partial payments which will help keep our community-owned utilities in good financial shape.
Although we are still accepting payments at the drive-up window and the drop box, the Town Office is closed to the public until further notice. In order to abide by the Governor’s mandate, all customers are encouraged to use the online payment system, payment by phone, automatic draft or simply mail in your payment. The Town will have payment plans available for residents that are unable to pay their bills in full over the next 60 days and details about payment plan options will be released later. Utility customers that had a past due balance when the Town voluntarily suspended the cut-offs before the end of March need to pay that outstanding balance before the end of May, as the repayment plan will only apply to utility bills for April and May that were issued after the Executive Order.
All Town services are operating as regularly scheduled and Town employees are taking precautions to protect themselves and the community. Some reminders for all residents:
• Please do NOT flush wipes, paper towels or other items in toilets. Only flush toilet paper so our wastewater pipes and pumps do not become clogged.
• Do not call 911 unless it is an emergency; call 828-396-3131 for non-emergency assistance.
Residents are reminded that this is a serious health crisis. The state-wide Stay-at-Home order remains in effect until April 29th. Violating the Stay-At-Home order is a class-two misdemeanor. You must stay home except for your job, to get food, medicine or outdoor exercise, or to help others. The order also bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to stay at least six feet away from each other. The walking path at the Recreation Center and Lakeside Park trails are open, but bathrooms, playgrounds and sport courts are closed. Everyone should practice responsible social distancing while outdoors.
• KEEP YOUR UTILITY BILL LOW BY REDUCING YOUR ENERGY USAGE
• Run dishwashers and washer/dryers overnight to avoid peak usage times
• Turn off lights when not in the room and use natural light when possible. Lighting =12% of energy usage.
• Unplug devices or chargers when not in use. Use a power strip as a central turn-off point.
• Ceiling fans cool people, not rooms, so turn them off when you are not in the room.
• A 10-minute shower uses less water than a full bath.
The Town of Granite Falls is proud to be a public power community and your utility provider. One of the advantages of being a locally owned utility is that we can adapt quickly to changing situations and adjust our policies to help customers during situations like this.
We encourage you to stay home and stay safe during these uncertain times.