COPPERAS COVE, Texas —
The City of Copperas Cove has been working to bring water billing services back in house after Fathom, which performed those services, abruptly stated they were going out of business last November.
The city is preparing to resume sending out water bills after splitting with water utility billing company Fathom at the end of last year. Due to the transition from Fathom, customer account numbers will be changed and customers could receive multiple bills in the same month, though the bills would be for different cycles.
Fathom announced it was going out of business in November, forcing the city to scramble for a utility billing solution. City Manager Ryan Haverlah previously told 6 News the bills for December water services and the first few months of 2020 would be delayed due to the transition. The city claimed Sunday the transition is now almost complete.
The city stated in a Sunday press release they are issuing new account numbers for all customer accounts and those numbers will appear on the new bills. The city said “Billing Cycles 1–4” have been prepared and sent out, but “Cycles 5–7” have been delayed until next week at the earliest. The release attached the following billing cycle map.
The city further stated it was possible for customers in” cycle 1” to receive multiple bills in March, even though the bills would be for separate billing periods. The release acknowledges paying multiple bills in the same month could be difficult and offered the following solution:
“We understand the hardship this could cause for some, so customers have the ability to request and establish a payment arrangement by speaking with a Customer Service Representative (CSR) in the Utilities Administration Office once your bill(s) arrives.” -- City of Copperas Cove.
The city stated no duplicate bills have been sent out so far. The city also stated the senior citizen discount some citizens previously enjoyed should still be in effect but the discount will now be removed from each eligible line item in the bill and not the bill’s total. If the discount appears to no longer be in effect, seniors can re-enroll at the Utilities Administration Office.
The City of Copperas Cove had previously encouraged citizens to make payments towards their account for the last few months even though a bill was not available. The city had asked residents to keep copies of payment receipts in the event that “account reconciliations are needed.” Customers who chose to wait for a new bill before making payments will not be held delinquent, but will need to pay the full amount due for services received over the last few months.
The press release stated all future mailed payments must be sent to the City of Copperas Cove and not FATHOM. The mailing address is: City of Copperas Cove, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522.
Customers should ensure any online banking information (in bill pay services) is updated to reflect their current address. The release stated account information may not be accurate until the customer portal is updated with new account numbers.
The new only online customer portal, WaterSmart, is available at this link.
The city said it sent out a letter and Frequently Asked Questions sheet to all customers in that Sunday release titled “Update number 12.” The release said Copperas Cove will hold another town hall meeting on the transition Tuesday evening:
“Another Utilities Administration Town Hall Meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 630pm at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, located at 1206 W Avenue B. City Manager Ryan Haverlah will provide a brief presentation and update on the transition, which will include a review of utility changes, payment options, and ample time for a public Q&A session.” -- City of Copperas Cove.
Also on KCENTV.com