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City Commission votes to suspend utility disconnects

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The Gainesville City Commission voted unanimously (with Simmons and Arreola absent) to suspend residential utility disconnects for electric, gas, and water for 30 days, starting Monday, March 16 (they don’t disconnect utilities on Fridays or on weekends).

They were concerned that people who are unable to work during the coronavirus shutdown would be able to keep their utilities on. Customers will still receive notification that their payments are late, and they will be charged late fees, but they will not be charged a disconnection fee. They will still have to pay the bill, and they will be encouraged to make regular payments.

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Customers who have been disconnected within the past 7 days will have their service turned back on, mainly because water is necessary for good hygiene in the current public health emergency.