BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Due to the partial U.S. government shutdown, Mayor Catherine Pugh approved the waiver of late fees on water bills for furloughed federal employees and contractors.

The waiver will specifically be for those employees and contractors who are customers of the Baltimore City water system.

Customers with a household income within 175 percent of federal poverty level may qualify for a one-time credit of $236 toward a payment plan, the City said in a release Friday.

“This shutdown – now the longest ever – is creating financial constraints on hundreds of thousands of hard-working people, many of whom live in Baltimore,” said Mayor Pugh. “They deserve our compassion, and we can begin to provide that by not punishing our customers when their water bills get paid late.”

Rudolph S. Chow, P.E., director of the Baltimore City Department Works, said impacted federal workers and federal contractors will be eligible for water bill payment plans.

The payment plans are designed to allow them to pay off their bills over time once the government shutdown ends and employees receive paychecks.

“DPW stands for public service, and the public servants who are going without an income deserve our consideration,” said Director Chow. “Waiving late fees and setting up payment plans is one way we can provide some assistance.”

The waiver will extend to furloughed federal workers and contractors in Baltimore City and Baltimore County.

The City says eligible DPW water customers should send a copy of their work ID and/or a copy of their furlough letter.

For quicker service, a picture of the ID or letter can be emailed to DPW’s Customer Support and Services Division, at DPW.Billing@baltimorecity.gov. Please also include the name, address, and account number, and indicate if you would like to set up a payment plan as well as a late fee waiver.

Any customer who falls behind in their bills may request a repayment plan to help them become current.

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