Fayetteville continues late fee forgiveness for utility bills

Video still / Fayetteville Government Channel

The Fayetteville City Council on Tuesday agreed to continue waiving late fees for anyone who’s having trouble paying their city utility bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure also temporarily halts security deposit fees and service cut-offs for anyone experiencing hardships.

City utility bills include water and sewer service, along with recycling and trash collection.

When the pandemic first began, Mayor Lioneld Jordan declared a city state of emergency, and administrators agreed to suspend late fees and cut-offs for anyone experiencing hardships. The mayor’s emergency powers have since terminated, so the council on Tuesday discussed an official ordinance to continue waiving fees, deposits and cut-offs.

The council voted 8-0 to pass the measure, which will stay in effect through the duration of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’ statewide emergency declaration.

The council passed the ordinance without any discussion. Jordan said waiving late fees is something that might seem like a minor decision, but it’s one that could potentially provide a bit of relief to some people during the pandemic.

“We can’t fix everything, but in a small way this can help some people,” said Jordan. “We can only take it one day at a time.”