Reaction mixed about process issuing utility storm credits

Reaction mixed about process issuing utility storm credits
(Source: WALB)

All week, Albany Utilities is offering a $50 credit to customers who lost power during the January storms for more than three days.

Many power meters were lost during the storms, and the company had to estimate the January bills, and some residents overpaid.

Albany's City Manager said that all residents will be reimbursed in the next bill cycle if they overpaid following the storms.

However, during Tuesday's City Commission Meeting, one elected official questioned the method of dispersing the $50 credit by asking citizens to go to the Civic Center and present an identification.

City Commissioner Jon Howard likened it to "giving out food stamps" and said the process was "not well thought out" for residents who are already stressed.

In response, City Manager Sharon Subadan took full responsibility for the process, and said she didn't intend for it to be difficult for people, but wanted to offer some immediate assistance now as the bills are corrected.

But, City Commissioner Roger Marietta defended the process, and said he personally took several elderly residents to the Civic Center himself, and found the process "quick and painless" and that his group was out the door in "five minutes".

Marietta also said the good response from city employees and disaster teams during and following the storms, including offering this utility credit, "far outweighs any inconvenience."

If you would like a credit, you can go to the Albany Civic Center today from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with your license.

Once representatives enter in your information, you will be given a $50 credit to your account.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday this week, representatives will be giving the credit at Albany Utilities on Pine Avenue.

If you can't make it in person, you can call Albany Utilities at 229-883-8330 and select the prompt "Storm Credit" by pushing "4".

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