By Staff Reports
(Victorville)–The City of Victorville announced the launch of its Utility Bill Assistance Program to help customers who are behind on their City utility bill payments due to COVID-19-related hardships.
On July 20, the Victorville City Council voted unanimously to allocate $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding for this program. Eligible residential and commercial customers who are in arrears on their water, sanitation, storm drain and/or household hazardous waste payments can apply to receive a one-time payment to zero out their balance owed between April 2020 and July 2021.
Applications will be accepted through Aug. 23 or until funds are exhausted. The application is available on the City’s website at VictorvilleCA.gov/utilityhelp, or it can be requested in-person at the customer service counters in City Hall. Questions about the utility assistance program can be directed to (760) 955-5001.
“So many in our community face hardships caused by the pandemic. We are very excited to use these federal dollars to help Victorville residents and businesses who have fallen behind in paying their City utility bills,” said Victorville Mayor, Debra Jones. “Our Utility Bill Assistance Program is just the first step in our broader plan to maximize our ARPA dollars to come alongside and strengthen our community.”
In March, the American Rescue Plan Act, a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus bill was signed into law. It included funds for municipal governments to promote local economic and health recovery. According to City officials, the City of Victorville is expected to receive $33.5 million in ARPA funds in two equal installments. The first installment was received this past June, and the second is expected to arrive in June 2022.
The Utility Bill Assistance Program was part of a broader ARPA allocation plan approved by the Victorville City Council on July 20. In accordance with U.S. Treasury guidelines, the Victorville Rescue Plan includes allocations to respond to the public health emergency and its negative economic impacts; assistance to local households, businesses, and non-profits; and necessary investments in water, sewer and broadband infrastructure. In the plan, Victorville’s ARPA allocations are categorized as follows:
-Housing and Homelessness: $6 million
-Community Improvements: $9 million
-Broadband: $8 million
-Community & Small Business Recovery: $4 million
-Water/Sewer/Storm Drain: $6 million
The City plans to issue regular reports accounting for how the ARPA funds are used. This information will be posted to the City’s website at VictorvilleCA.gov and included in future Council Meeting Agendas.
Located in Southern California at the high-point between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Victorville is the leading city for both industry and retail in the High Desert region. Victorville is a growing, vibrant community that is home to approximately 125,000 residents and some of the area’s largest employers. Clean air, abundant mountain vistas, family-friendly recreational activities, spectacular sunsets and breathtaking night skies entice locals and visitors alike to fall in love with this city that is within a few hours of SoCal beaches, National Parks, mountain retreats, and other major attractions. Ontario International Airport is less than an hour away. Learn more about the City of Victorville at VictorvilleCA.gov.