MARMADUKE, AR (KAIT) - Because of the cold weather causing several residents to keep their faucets running to protect their pipes, the city of Marmaduke is giving all water users a 1,000-gallon credit on their water bills.
According to Steve Dixon, the city's mayor, he brought the idea to the city council.
"We all agreed that we wanted to see if we could give customers a break this month because more water was used as well as the heating bills being high," said Dixon. "They voted on a $5 adjustment but instead we did a usage adjustment of 1,000 gallons per resident."
Dixon said this is a one-time deal.
"We are not going to says it won't be done again and we are not saying this is going to be every time we are below freezing for 96 hours," said Dixon. "This is just to help them out this one time. With a high bill for water and heat, we thought we were in the position to give everyone this 1,000-gallon adjustment only for the month of January."
He added that this was meant to help the community as much as they can.
"A lot of our customer here are older folks with a fixed income and you know whenever they get double hit with water and sewer rates and a high heating bill, it kind of hurts, so we are just trying to do our parts to help them out," said Dixon.
Dixon said they are not going to adjust below the minimum usage of 2,000 gallons a month.
He said this in total is costing the city $2,022 to accommodate 430 of their water users.
Also in Marmaduke, the city is now able to have residents pay their bills online.
"We work with Utility Pay which does our court fines online," said Dixon. "This allows residents to pay their bill at home rather than have to come all the way to the city hall to drop off their check."
Dixon said since the online option been in place which began back in October, they have seen fewer residents come to city hall.
"It is all about convenience," said Dixon. "There is an online fee but again, people are paying for the convenience."