The availability of fresh water is crucial to living a healthy life. To ensure that the citizens of Oak Park have access to that basic necessity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic crisis, the village board of Oak Park opted to continue concessions related to water bills during its Oct. 19 meeting.
Under the continuations, Oak Parkers are safe from the repercussions associated with an inability to pay water bills through Feb. 16, 2021. The first ordinance allows the village to temporarily extend the existing waiver and suspension of the 10 percent late payment penalty on water charges.
Village board initially adopted the ordinance to temporarily waive and suspend water bill late fees early into the COVID-19 pandemic, on April 6. The provisional measure was set to expire Dec. 31 but will now be in effect into the beginning of 2021.
The moratorium on water shutoffs has also been extended by the village board until Feb. 16, 2021. Under normal circumstances, the village disconnects the water services of residential and commercial accounts more than 30 days, roughly one month, delinquent in payment. Beginning July 20, the village stopped service disconnections, however, the original moratorium expired Sept. 30.
Village staff recommended the continuation of the two temporary ordinances to allow people more time to recover financially from the economic impacts of COVID-19 and to provide emergency assistance for its water and sewer service customers, pursuant to Oak Park village code.
Both items were on the village board’s consent agenda. As such, board members passed the two ordinances without discussion.