The city of South Burlington has announced flexibility in payment arrangements for city utility bills for federal workers who are furloughed.

“We will be waiving late fees and suspending water shut-offs,” City Manager Kevin Dorn said. “We will work one-on-one with customers impacted by the shutdown.”

The federal shutdown has now gone on for over a month, forcing federal workers across the country to visit food shelves and take odd jobs in order to make ends meet. The government shut down began over 30 days ago after Republicans and Democrats failed to agree on an appropriations bill containing billions of dollars to fund the construction of a wall along the southern U.S./Mexico border.

City Director of Community Engagement and Innovation Coralee Holm said a call from a city resident who is a furloughed federal employee led to the utility payment arrangement policy.

“He asked if we could help,” Holm said. “Public Work Director Justin Rabidoux approached us and said there may be more people calling. We did a little digging and Kevin loved the idea of being as flexible as possible for folks, and this was the outcome.”

The utilities in question would include city water and sewer bills, Holm said.

“As long as furloughed federal workers have some correspondence to show they’re furloughed, we’ll continue to work with people and be as flexible with payment arrangements,” she said.

Contact the Champlain Water District for more information on making arrangements, 802-864-4631.

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