EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Earlier this month, Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke announced the details of an assistance program for Evansville Water and Sewer Utility customers. Initially, customers making less than $50,000 per household would get a $3 credit per month, totaling $36 per year.

EWSU Executive Director Lane Young explained that the reason they chose this amount was because when it was announced that a new water treatment plant would be built, customers would see about a $3 monthly increase for the first year. This assistance program was made to offset that increase for customers in need.

Through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) fund, the EWSU was allotted $4 million for the assistance program. What isn’t used for the monthly credit, Young said would go towards helping customers who are facing shutoffs get caught up with their bill and hopefully have a fresher start where they don’t fall back into the delinquencies.

Young approached the Evansville City Council with a new proposal on Monday. Now, the program – which is set to begin July 1 – would allow customers whose household income is less than $30,000 per year to gain a $10 monthly credit and those in the $30,000 to $50,000 range would still receive $3 per month.

The council agreed on this update, but many members said they would like to keep the conversation open with the EWSU to see how else they can assist the customers. Councilmembers Missy Mosby and Ron Beane were also adamant that they would vote for this program to be approved only if the funds would strictly be for Evansville customers. Both the city and the county received ARPA funds, so Councilmembers Beane and Mosby said the county residents should receive assistance from county funds.

Young agreed and he said he will now speak the with Vanderburgh County Commission about the program extending to county residents. The council passed the amendment unanimously and they will monitor the data for three months and then see what changes, if any, need to be made.

Currently there is no deadline to apply for the EWSU assistance program, so if you qualify and would like to apply you can do so on their website or in person.