Members of the public are being encouraged by one Antigua Publix Utilities Authrority (APUA) official to ‘come in and have a conversation to discuss a payment plan’.
These comments stem from a recent release from APUA which stated that starting February 1st 2021, disconnections of utility services for residual and commercial properties will commence. This is following a nine month waiver APUA offered following the impact of the covid-19 virus in the country.
This means that those individuals and businesses who do not settle outstanding accounts will be cut off.
The announcement, ofcourse, was met with some backlash by residents who called on APUA to implement an assessment team who could review the financial status of the relevant persons and make a judgement then.
“We have to be able to understand that not much has changed since then. Alot of persons are still not working because hotels are reclosing due to the lockdown in the UK. Look at Blue Waters. What is APUA going to do? Demand they pay and if they can’t turn off their water and electricity? They need to find a way to help these people. I am not saying pardon everyone but something can be done,” said one person.
APUA’S Public Relations Officer Sharifa George heard those cries and while speaking on state media on Wednesday morning, indicated that a payment plan can be made for those still struggling.
“I know this caused a bit of anixety when we made this announcement and its more so an appeal for persons to start to get your house in order per say. Speak with us. We take no pleasure in disconnecting services and interrupting lives and livelihoods but what we want to do is start the conversation to get you back on track,” said George.
She emphasized that this condition is more so imperative for landlord tenants. They are encouraged to bring along their termination letter from their previous occupations and a drivers license or valid ID card.
She explained that persons will have to make an appointment by calling the Credit Control Department at 480-7002.
Payment plans George explained will vary according to the persons situation. She did however mention that a number of factors have to be assessed before the payment plan is offered. These include the current financial position of the individual and their payment history with APUA.