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Gloucester supervisors hold off on exemption to statewide utilities moratorium

Gloucester supervisors refrained from voting on an exemption from the statewide moratorium on disconnecting water and sewage from non-paying customers, following a public hearing Tuesday.

Director of Public Utilities James Dawson approached the board with the request during its Feb. 16 meeting. He said that Public Utilities has been unable to disconnect non-paying customers since the statewide moratorium was issued last March. The exemption from the moratorium would have allowed Public Utilities to enforce payments by having non-paying customers sign up for a payment plan or potentially face water shut-off.

The payment plan, according to Dawson, breaks down the delinquent balance into 24 monthly payments, and is completely optional. Following the public hearing, several board members expressed their concerns with the payment plan.

Board member Kevin Smith said that if a family is not paying now because they can’t afford to, then they certainly would not be able to afford to p...

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