Goldendale, WA, July 14, 2021 — Klickitat PUD is pleased to announce that we have been awarded a grant in the amount of $245,000 from the Washington State Department of Commerce Community Services and Housing Division Office of Crime Victims Advocacy. The funding is federally provided through Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funds (CESF) and will provide Klickitat PUD customers COVID-19 customer relief programs.
Klickitat PUD submitted a proposal in February of this year to provide utility customers options and help in anticipation of the end of the COVID-19 disconnection moratorium. The KPUD Commissioners’ direction was to seek external funding for our customers who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and have suffered financial challenges resulting in accounts falling in arrears. KPUD was notified in April that we were one of six local government, non-profits and tribes projects that were selected to be awarded a grant from a group of seventy-four eligible applications. There was an unexpected delay in funding programs due to a challenge of the grant awards. That challenge has now been resolved thus the program funding can move forward.
The project statement of work is to develop, promote and administer customer assistance programs for the customers of Klickitat PUD. The project established three utility specific programs to assist our customers. The intent of the 2021 CESF Small Business Customer Assistance program is to help small business’ recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19. The COVID Residential Customer Assistance Program will provide one-time credits to customers negatively impacted by COVID-19 to help them recover. The one-time grant award will be based on services provided by Klickitat PUD to customers. Electric customers may be eligible for $300, while combined service customers may qualify for $500 for utility expenses between June 2021 and December 2021. Additionally, the 2021 COVID Summer Low Income Elderly Discount program has been established. KPUD’s existing Low Income Elderly Discount program runs from December through March. The new one-time COVID discount would apply to customer bills from June 2021 through November 2021 and is just in time to assist customers during what may be a very warm summer season. The new programs goals are to reach and assist as many customers as we can to help prevent, prepare for, and recover from the coronavirus prior to resuming disconnects for non-payment.
Klickitat PUD Customer Service Representatives are ready and willing to assist customers with applying for these grant-funded programs. They are also ready to help set up payment arrangements, transfer you to a budget plan, or refer you to other assistance programs. Please reach out or visit our website to apply. We want these funds to benefit our customers as they develop mutually acceptable arrangements and recover from the coronavirus.