Delinquent Elizabeth City residential utility customers will have to pay their July bill or face disconnection.
City Manager Rich Olson announced Tuesday morning that the city will defy Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order halting disconnection of utility services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That order was set to expire July 29 but because of 2,200 delinquent utility accounts, the city was set to run out of money in its electric fund by August.
The city applied for a waiver from Cooper’s executive order from Attorney General Josh Stein on June 15 but never received a decision.
With the first of July’s bills set to go out Wednesday, Olson said the city couldn’t wait any longer.
“We thought 15 days was adequate for the governor and the attorney general to grant us a waiver,” Olson said explaining the decision to defy the governor's executive order. “The city is in a cash position where we need to take immediate action.’’
The first set of four cycles of bills will go out tomorrow with a due date of July 15. If a customer with a July 15 due date does not pay by that date pay they will face disconnection of services on July 25. Other customers will receive their bills over the course of July with different due dates.
All billings for July are due on their normal due dates and COVID catchup agreements will be established for any billings that were due between March 23 and June 30 once the July payment is satisfied.
The city is expecting to generate over $2.5 million from its July billings.
The Attorney General's Office could not be immediately reached for comment.