WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — Help is on the way for low-income families who are struggling to pay their water bills in Warner Robins.
On Monday, the Warner Robins City Council unanimously passed the low-income household water assistance program.
We attended the City Council meeting to find out more about the program.
The Middle Georgia Community Action Agency will be administering the funds, but it's a partnership between multiple organizations, including: The Department of Human Resources, The Division of Family and Children Services, The City of Warner Robins, and Home Water Supplier.
It's all designed to help low-income families deal with a flood of debt.
"It's for individuals that are not able to meet their bills, their obligations," Councilman Clifford Holmes said.
Holmes seconded the motion to pass the program at Monday night's city council meeting.
"Like I stated in the meeting, I was told by one of the staff here, me and Chief Talton probably pay more of the water bills here than anybody else, and that's probably because people came to us, asking for help," Holmes said.
The program helps pay for your home water bill if it is in your name or you can verify a water burden. The amount of help is based on how many family members you have, income, and composition. Mayor LaRhonda Patrick thinks the program "is amazing."
"Typically those types of programs they want you to be in good standing before you can qualify for the program, but this one is specifically for those who have payments that are too high for them to fulfill and they're in arrears," Patrick said.
Holmes, "We got great people here and we got a super council that tonight stepped up the the plate."
The program is effective now until September 30th, 2022, and then it has the potential of being renewed.
You can call the Middle Georgia Community Action Agency at 478-922-4464 to apply for help if you live in Warner Robins.
"We're very excited about the new partnerships we've been able to make through the water program and happy that we'll be able to serve more Georgians with this important initiative," Chris Hempfling said. He is the Deputy Division Director and General Counsel for Division of Family and Children Services; and the Senior Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Chief of Staff Georgia Department of Human Services.
Council also approved a $1,000 grant to public safety workers and first responders. The money comes from a supplement announced last year from the governor's office to recognize the sacrifice and dedication they showed by serving Georgians and their communities during the pandemic. We talked to Fire Chief Ross Moulton after the money was approved.
"The firefighters will get the full $1,000 check, so the city pitched in their part to make sure that was a great gift to the firefighters, so very grateful very thankful," Moulton said.