During the Oct. 18 meeting of the Dawsonville City Council, council members voted to approve the city’s participation in a low-income household water assistance program.
The water assistance program is federally funded and designed to assist low-income households in paying for their water and waste water, according to City Clerk Beverly Banister. To participate in the program, the city will partner with local nonprofit Ninth District Opportunity Inc.
“It’s going to actually be administered through a community action agency...a local one, and ours is the Ninth District; they’re the ones that originally contacted us about this,” Banister said during the meeting. “Eligibility to be in the program is gonna be determined by the household income and size which is all done through the ninth district.”
In the water assistance program, citizens in need of help will be directed by the city to Ninth District Opportunity, which will determine their eligibility. The city will then receive a check to apply to the water bill for the citizens who are determined to meet the requirements.
“The program is basically designed to address any past-due amounts and then could also provide a $300 or $500 benefit to each household who’s eligible,” Banister said. “The agreement is actually allowing the federal funds to be given directly to the city to be put on each person’s account, whoever qualifies and is eligible.”
While the city will have some record-keeping to do for the program, most of the work will be done though Ninth District, Bannister said.
Both Banister and Dawsonville Mayor Mike Eason agreed that with approval for the city to participate in the program, many of Dawsonville’s residents will be able to gain from it.
“This is going to help people in our community who are in need; we know from our bills and lack of being able to pay them that it’s important for people to be able to get assistance,” Eason said.
Council members approved the water assistance program unanimously, with Council Member Caleb Phillips absent.