Hello Opelousas citizens,
As each of us are acutely aware, we are confronting changes in our lives that we have never experienced before. We have all had to make adjustments on how we interact and socialize with others and have had to adapt to a new way of doing things at home and at work. We have also had to make adjustments financially. This also includes the City of Opelousas. When the Governor enacted the Executive Order in March, he requested that utility services do not be disconnected because of non- payment. While utilities and water services operated by cities are not regulated by the Louisiana Public Service Commission, many cities, including Opelousas, stopped cut-offs for non-payment due to the financial hardships from COVID-19. Let us keep in mind that our city voluntarily offered relief to its residents in order to minimize financial burdens. The cost of doing this, now, needs to be addressed.
The impact of this pandemic on city revenue has been immediate and more budget shortfall is predicted. With respect to the City of Opelousas, we must resume our payment policies that were in place prior to COVID-19. Initially, the city stated we would revisit the assistance granted on April 13, 2020, which was extended to April 30, 2020. That day has arrived.
Effective May 4, 2020, all payment protocols prior to the pandemic were re-evaluated and will effectively be re-instituted. Any and all costs applicable to water and sewage utilities will be due by the end of the month. All balances should be paid by June 1st, 2020. All City of Opelousas billing charges will apply after this date.
The City of Opelousas has continued to provide quality service while confronting this virus. To continue this endeavor of good service, everyone has to do their part because like many other cities, Opelousas depends on utility revenues to provide services, which includes public safety.
Soon, we will reopen the municipal plaza section of City Hall and begin handling customer payments inside the building. For now, this will only be for utility bill payments. More details regarding this protocol will be provided soon. We will continue to follow social distancing inside the plaza section of city hall. In doing this, customers will be allowed to enter the building to pay their bill.
We will mark our foyer in the plaza with divider tape along the path directed towards the payment window. Once you have conducted your business and made your payment, each customer will exit the building from the door on the south side near Bellevue Street.
We are asking for your cooperation during this partial re-opening of our facilities. We are glad to serve you and may God continue to watch over you and your families. Be Smart, Be Safe, Stay Home, Which Saves Lives.
Mayor Julius Alsandor