The originally-planned “credit” for City of Salem water customers isn’t happening as originally planned, according a news release sent this afternoon on behalf of City of Salem Mayor Justin Green.

However, customers will get relief in the form of an extension of a “stay” on the planned water rate increase for another 30 days, which Green said would be worth more to customers than a credit would have been. 

The Salem Board of Works voted unanimously on February 2 to formulate a refund to the water bills of local residents and businesses due to water issues earlier this year. 

They also agreed to put a 90-day stay on the water rate increase that was to have went into affect in February.

According to Green, the City and the Board of Works has been working with the water bill vendor to come up with a solution to compensate customers.

“This ultimately was decided as the most efficient way possible to credit our customers, and will ultimately mean a lower bill for a longer period of time, rather than a credit in the traditional sense,” said Mayor Green. “We appreciate our customers’ understanding during this process and as we have worked out the details with our vendor.”

He said they have determined the best way to apply a “credit” will be through an extension of the delayed implementation of a water rate increase.

Green said the rate increase was to have gone into effect into February. The board voted at that time to extend put that off for 90 days, which would have been up this month.

Green said the Board of Works recently passed an extra 30-day extension to the planned water rate increase to offset the credit amount.

The total delay of the water rate increase is now 120 days, making a tentative effective date of June 2, 2022 for the planned increase.

This all started with several water issues in January and February that resulted in water pressure and low-flow issues for most of the City of Salem and Pekin customers.

Green said the anticipated credit on Salem Utilities customer bills would be handled differently than originally planned due to the inability of the billing vendor to apply credits of usage.

“We certainly are accommodating our customers for their patience with the disruption of service, however, the vendor is unable to apply credits, so we have to approach it a little differently. This was only recently discovered when the request was made,” said Green.

Any customers who have further questions are encouraged to contact Salem Utilities at 812-883-3937.