Mayor of Penticton, John Vassilaki and city councillors determined that a ten per cent discount on utility charges was the best option to offer relief to residents amid COVID-19 at a special virtual council meeting Thursday, April 23, 2020. (Jesse Day - Western News)

COVID-19: City of Penticton to provide 10 per cent utility discount

Councillors approved the motion in a special COVID-19 relief effort meeting

Penticton city councillors discussed potential ways to offer businesses and residents financial relief amid COVID-19 Thursday, April 23 in a special virtual council meeting.

Among the most pertinent motions discussed was how to provide relief on utility bills.

The city has seen an increase of 350 customers who have not been able to pay their utility bills in the last month, according to the city’s chief financial officer, Jim Bauer.

Councillors were presented with four options to provide utility relief for citizens.

Ultimately, they voted for an option that will provide a 10 per cent discount on utility rates for all rate payers for the remainder of 2020.

The city said they will also continue to pursue a funding from the province to provide a credit similar to BC Hydro’s three-month “bill holiday.” Mayor John Vassilaki previously contacted the province asking for funding to allow the city to provide rate payers a credit.

The 10 per cent discount is expected to cost the city an estimated $400,000.

READ MORE: Penticton mayor pens letter to Premier Horgan requesting electrical subsidy

READ MORE: BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19


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