At last night’s meeting, the Modesto City Council made the bold move to try and make life a little easier for those directly impacted by the government shutdown. Based on emergency action taken at the meeting, the city manager has authorized city staff to temporarily suspend late fees and other penalties resulting from late payments of utilities to the city. This temporary policy is specifically for those current U.S. Government employees that have been and remain furloughed because of the government shutdown.
We were all hopeful that a federal solution to this critical issue would have been reached before the posting of the January 22 City Council meeting agenda, however, it was determined that furloughed U.S. Government employees would continue to not be paid for the indefinite future. Thus, an emergency item was presented and adopted by the full council.
The city of Modesto recognizes that U.S. Government employees provide critical services within and in the surrounding areas of the city. These services are essential in protecting the health, safety, and welfare of all Modesto residents.
We recognize the financial constraints placed on these employees, having not received two successive pay chances, may require them to have to choose between paying a utility bill and putting food on their table.
Therefore, effective immediately, the city is temporarily suspending late fees and other penalties resulting from late payments of utility fees, and will work with residents to ensure a payment plan can be made according to individual circumstances. This policy will continue until the shutdown has ended, but will be reevaluated in 60 days, should the government not reopen by then.
For questions, and to signal your interest in participating, have your proof of eligibility ready and contact our customer service department at (209) 577-5395.
This is one small way the city of Modesto is working to reimagine government.