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SALINAS — With financial impacts of Covid-19 felt by California Water Service (Cal Water) customers well past the height of the pandemic, Cal Water applied for and has received more than $83 million through the California Extended Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program to relieve residential and commercial customers of past-due balances incurred during the pandemic.

The Extended Program, administered by the State Water Resources Control Board, enables water suppliers to apply for financial support on behalf of customers.

Cal Water first secured more than $20.8 million about two years ago through the original Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program for past-due balances incurred by residential and commercial customers between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021. Through the Extended Program, past-due debt incurred between June 16, 2021, and Dec. 31, 2022, became eligible.

Cal Water will apply credits to affected customers’ accounts in the second quarter of 2024. Customers across all of Cal Water’s service areas, including the Salinas and King City districts, will be notified directly if a credit will be applied to their accounts.

The Salinas District — serving Bolsa Knolls, Buena Vista (Pine Canyon Estates), Country Meadows, Foothill Estates, Indian Springs, Las Lomas, Las Palmas, Oak Hills, Salinas, Salinas Hills, Toro Park and Watsonville — will receive $2 million in additional state funding that Cal Water applied for and secured.

The King City District will receive $195,288 in additional state funding.

Customers with remaining balances that pre-date the pandemic or were accrued after the Extended Program benefit period ended in 2022 may still take advantage of Cal Water’s various interest- and penalty-free payment plans or extensions, subject to certain terms and conditions, to help prevent them from being subject to potential disruptions in water service in the future.

Income-eligible customers may also enroll in Cal Water’s Customer Assistance Program, which provides qualifying lower-income customers a discount on their monthly service charge.

“We wanted to apply for these funds to help customers impacted by the pandemic,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water chairman and CEO. “We appreciate the funding provided by the State of California to help ease our customers’ burden, and we also encourage any customers who are still struggling financially to take advantage of our numerous assistance programs. We are here to help.”

In total, Cal Water has secured nearly $104 million through the Original and Extended Programs on behalf of its customers from the State Water Resources Control Board using federal American Rescue Plan Act funds.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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