In response to the COVID 19 virus and its impact on our community Eastsound Water users may be experiencing quarantining, reduced income or other financial impacts. Your water system has developed several initiatives to help support our members and customers, while anticipating the financial impacts on the water system.  We are announcing a Financial Assistance program (credit to your bill) available for both residential and commercial water users. There is also a separate Service Fee Deferral Program to allow members to defer up to 3 months of service fees, postponing repayment until 2021 when installment payments will be added to your regular bills throughout next year.   Please review the details below.

Financial Assistance Programs

Eastsound Water has created a $15,000 fund to help subsidize service fees for customers who have been impacted by the COVID 19 situation. The initial $15,000 of support from Eastsound Water will be spread across the April, May and June billing periods. This will give all water users access to these funds.   This fund is specific to Eastsound Water users, not customers of other Orcas water systems.   There is a separate application process for residential services and commercial services.

Residential Application Process for Financial Assistance

The Orcas Community Resource Center has agreed to work with Eastsound Water to manage the program for RESIDENTIAL water users.  You may apply when you have a current water bill in hand, starting with bills issued in April.   The Resource Center will use their standard “new client intake form” as an application.   This form can be found at the bottom of the front page of their website. https://orcascrc.org/   You can also contact the Orcas Community Resource Center by emailing holly@orcascrc.org  or leave a message at 360-376-3184.

The application provided OCRC is confidential, and not shared with Eastsound Water.  Eastsound Water will provide the Resource Center documentation of applicant’s account status.  Based on this data, the Resource Center will determine an appropriate financial aid for each applicant’s current water bill.  The Resource Center will communicate their approved financial assistance with the applicant and Eastsound Water.   Eastsound Water will credit your account. The maximum financial aid is $125 per account.   This program will apply to our quarterly residential bills from April through June, so all residential customers will have an opportunity to apply.   Applications may be submitted between the 10th of the month, through the 24th of the month.  Applicants will be notified of their credit after the 24th of the month so they can pay their bills prior to the end of the month’s due date.   Commercial applicant should not contact the Orcas Community Resource Center.

Commercial Application Process for Financial Assistance

Commercial water users also have access to Eastsound Water’s Financial Assistance Program but will make application directly to Eastsound Water.  Commercial Applications will be accepted through April 24th.  Commercial Account Credits that are awarded will be spread over the April, May and June water bills.  You can request an application at assistance@eastsoundwater.org or download one as a fillable PDF below.

Service Fee Deferral Program.

Eastsound Water will also allow members to defer 3 full months of service fee obligations to a later date. This is not a forgiveness of service fees.  It delays your obligation during the current COVID emergency.   Members who enter into our Service Fee Deferral Contract can defer three months of service fees, with no penalty, late fees or interest.  The fees are deferred until the member’s 1st bill of 2021.   The repayment schedule will be prorated across the each of the members 2021 bills.

This program is being offered on the honor system.   Eastsound Water hopes that members who can pay their bill, will pay their bill.   The program is intended to help those who are experiencing hardship.  This is very much like a short-term loan.   There is no interest associated with this deferral program.   Of course, you can pay off your Deferred Service Fees any time before 2021 if you wish with no pre-payment penalty.  However, there is a Contract required, and the contract has some conditions and terms. This contract allows Eastsound Water to protect the Membership from financial loss

Members who enroll in the Service Fee Deferral Program will be expected to pay both their normal 2021 service fee AND their deferred 2020 fees concurrently.  All members are eligible to enroll in the Service Fee Deferral program.   Tenants who pay the water bill on the property they rent are eligible but must get permission from the Eastsound Water member who owns the property.   Eastsound Water’s Bylaws hold the member ultimately responsible for any past due fees resulting from non-payment by the tenant.

The application for the Service Fee Deferral Program can be found below.  If you cannot open the PDF form below you can email assistance@eastsoundwater.org and request that a copy be emailed to you.

eastsoundwater.org

Eastsound Water – 360 376 2127        assistance@eastsoundwater.org