Nederland suspends utility late fees for 30 more days; city at half-dozen COVID-19 cases
Published 12:12 am Wednesday, April 8, 2020
NEDERLAND — Utility bill late fees have been suspended for another 30 days and orders for the disconnection of Nederland service due non-payment are waived into May.
Nederland City Council members unanimously approved the measures this week as the impacts of social distancing and business closures due to the coronavirus continue to impact Mid-County and the rest of the nation.
Those extensions are expected to revisited May 11.
The city has closed all public buildings while keeping phone lines open and some staffing in place.
Those looking to pay utility bills or building permit fees can use the City Hall night drop box, mail-in payments or go online for bill pay at municipalonlinepayments.com/nederlandtx.
City officials said the drive-through will only be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Many residents have had and will continue to have unplanned expenses,” City Manager Chris Duque said. “Therefore, to facilitate the community’s economic continuity and recovery, effective March 23, utility bill late fees are suspended and disconnection of service for nonpayment is waived for up to 60 days of the date of the proposed ordinance amendment.”
According to Duque, this extension is greater than what was provided with previous disasters and will have to be reassessed next month.
In other COVID-19 related business, the city amended its purchasing policy to accept and facilitate project bids through email to help reduce the need for more than 10 people to be in a room at the same time, as mandated by recent state and county protection orders.
The City of Nederland has been struck with the most coronavirus-related positive cases, as officials announced the fifth and sixth local residents tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend.
During the same period, Groves has confirmed four cases and Port Neches has confirmed one case.
The City of Nederland has also been fielding calls about which businesses are considered essential and allowed to operate and which are not considered essential.
“While veterinary care is essential per state guidelines, dog grooming/spa is not veterinary care and thus not essential,” a city statement reads. “The guidance and recommendations from the federal and state governments is to limit trips and leaving your home to essential services and businesses only. Everyone needs to weigh what is essential … While many of us treat our animals as part of our family, the order does not classify these types of businesses as essential.”
City officials said car dealerships are considered essential as per the state’s order.