EVMWD delays rate increase, extends freeze on service shut-offs to support community during pandemic

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LAKE ELSINORE – To further protect public health and assist customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District announced it will continue to defer disconnections for non-payment, postpone a pending rate increase and reopen lobby services.

Suspension of water service shut-offs for delinquent bills has been extended through Sept. 30, continuing an action taken by the district in March. EVMWD was one of the first adopters of such a policy to assist customers struggling financially because of the crisis, before a statewide order to suspend shut-offs.

The district continues to bill for water service, so customers in need are encouraged to make payment arrangements by calling 951-674-3146. EVMWD also offers low-income rate assistance to qualifying customers through its RARE program.

On Thursday, May 28, the EVMWD board of directors voted unanimously to delay a previously approved rate increase for July 1 that was intended to cover the rising costs of imported water, energy, treatment, preventative maintenance and capital improvement projects. Now, Elsinore Division water rates will not increase until Jan. 1, 2021. Sewer rates will not change. Temescal division and recycled water rates will maintain the slight increase adopted by the board in August 2019, effective July 1.

“We know this is a difficult time for many people in our community. At EVMWD, we are committed to doing what we can to help them by minimizing economic hardships and continuing to provide safe, clean drinking water without interruption,” Andy Morris, president of the district’s board of directors, said.

The EVMWD lobby reopened to the public June 1. In concert with health department guidelines, social distancing and masks will be strongly encouraged and increased sanitizing by district staff will be implemented. Customers are encouraged and may continue to pay bills online at http://www.onlinebiller.com/evmwd or via phone at 951-674-3146. Information on additional ways to pay is available at http://www.evmwd.com.

Submitted by Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District.