Consider Helping Neighbors with Water Bills
Updated July 30 at 10:27 a.m.: This version corrects the maximum monthly pledge amount.
As Hillsborough water and sewer rates increase to cover the costs of providing the utility service, consider donating to the Water Assistance Program to help a neighbor in need.
State law prevents the Town of Hillsborough from charging different utility rates to customers based on income, but the town is able to facilitate assistance through a partnership with the local nonprofit organization Orange Congregations in Mission.
“For those concerned about the affordability of living in this area, especially for people on fixed incomes or facing family emergencies, our Water Assistance Program is a good way to help,” Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said.
The Water Assistance Program is funded through donations from utility customers and helps eligible Hillsborough customers with paying their water and sewer bills. One-time donations can be made to the fund, or monthly pledges of up to $20 can be added to water and sewer bills.
“The program is a very efficient way to help our fellow residents,” said Dan L. Barker, chairman of the Water and Sewer Advisory Committee, which makes utility management recommendations to the Hillsborough Board of Commissioners. “Every dollar contributed is passed on to those in need. There are no ‘overhead’ deductions or program administration fees that come from the amounts donated by contributors.”
Eligible candidates are recommended by the Orange County Department of Social Services or a local church, and the program is designed to provide temporary assistance. Each month, more than 100 town water and sewer accounts are overdue. Although most bills eventually are paid, customers sometimes incur late fees and service disruptions.
“The Water Assistance Program helps users avoid that initial disconnection and keep their limited money available for their family,” Barker said.
The program was started in March 2006 with $5,000 of seed money from the town.
For more information or to donate, see the Water Assistance Program page of the town’s website or the documents below.