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City Manager Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides proposes a pilot program to provide a senior citizen discount for utilities.
Petersburg’s seniors account for 15.3% of the total city population. This Senior Discount Pilot Program is designed to ease the financial hardship for this select group of residents.
Eligible participants must be at least 65 years old and must provide proof of birthdate, proof of property ownership, and a recent utility statement. Applicants must live in the home and have occupied the home for at least one year.
“This is wonderful and it shows that our City administration is listening to our residents’ concerns,” said City Councilmember, Treska Wilson-Smith.
Janell Sinclair, Administrative Services Manager for Public Works, presented the City Council with three program options. The first option cut sewer rates by 50%, the second cut both sewer and water rates by 50%, and the final option would bring both the 1 inch and 1.5 inch rates to the same level as 5/8 meter rates, ultimately, reducing base rates by 60%-77%.
“We anticipate that the collection rate will rise, while simultaneously alleviating this financial burden on our senior residents,” said Aretha R. Ferrell-Benavides, City Manager.
A public hearing is to be held at a future City Council Meeting. City Council will receive comments from the public and will vote on the pilot program.