UNION CITY, Ga. - Starting Thursday, those living in Union City can apply for utility payment assistance.
Nine months into the crippling pandemic and Union City Mayor Vince Williams said he’s grateful the city can now provide a bit of relief from the pandemic to some of its 20,000 residents.
Mayor Williams said the timing isn’t ideal, but the money will make a difference for thousands.
Union City paused water payments in March to offset financial pressure from the coronavirus.
That moratorium was recently lifted.
"We want to create an opportunity for them to catch up on their bills so they can get their water service without worrying about it," Williams said.
CARES Act funding went directly to states and counties, not small cities, like Union City.
Fulton County disbursed money to its 15 cities based on their population. Only a few dozen individual cities across the country received CARES Act funding directly and there is a deadline to use CARES Act funds.
"We as cities were waiting on our part. We went back and forth with the county on that," Mayor Williams said. "If you don’t spend all the money by December 31st, all of that money goes back to the federal government...We have to have our money sent off by December 15th," he said.
Just over a month ago, Mayor Williams said, talks with Fulton County solidified more than $900,000 for the city. Much of that funding will go toward city reimbursement of PPE for employees such as police and firefighters.
"Once we received that money we wanted to create an opportunity to serve our citizens who were greatly impacted," he said.
Those negatively impacted by COVID-19 could receive financial assistance of up to $1,000 for utility bills dated between February 1 and September 30 of this year.
To qualify for the Utility Payment Assistance Program, applicants must:
- Prove termination of or a decrease in employment
- Provide ID
- Three pay stubs prior to a change in job status
- Three bank statements
- Verification of benefits within the last 30 days such as food stamps or unemployment.
Mayor Williams said he hopes by the end of this application process, there will be money left over for small businesses.
The funds are a start, Williams said, but he has a desperate plea to those in Washington as they prepare for recess.
"We can’t wait that long especially with the imminent facing of another round of COVID," he said.
This is not a stimulus check, and residents can apply online at unioncityga.org or call the number on your 770-964-2288. The deadline is December 7.