FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS.

TOPIC:

MISC

What are Town Hall office hours?

REVISED:

POSTED:

Regular business hours are Monday, Wednesday, & Friday 9:00 am to Noon & 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm. (We are closed from Noon to 1:00 pm for lunch.) & Tuesdays & Thursday 9:00 am to Noon. Due to public health concerns, our office will remain closed to public access until further notice. 

TOPIC:

MISC

How do I receive email notifications from the Town?

REVISED:

POSTED:

To opt into notification emails, use the subscribe form on the footer of our website!

TOPIC:

Utilities

I made a partial payment, why did I receive a late fee and shut-off notice?

REVISED:

POSTED:

Pursuant to CMC 13.15.030, water service may be terminated when any portion of the utility bill is unpaid and delinquent. Therefore, you must pay your bill in full each month.

TOPIC:

Utilities

Xpress Bill Pay's website is not working and Town staff are not answering the phone, how do I make my payment on time?

REVISED:

POSTED:

You can make a payment over the phone with Xpress Bill Pay by calling 1-800-720-6847. You can sign up for auto-pay online with Xpressbillpay.com, pay by mail or drop box at 375 2nd Street Cathlamet, WA 98612.

TOPIC:

Utilities

I do not understand my bill, the "current charges" and "total due" are different?

REVISED:

POSTED:

Billing is uploaded on the 5th of each month, if you are making your payment after the new billing has been uploaded the "total due" bill shows the current charges plus the new charges. The "current charges" amount is typically the amount that is actually due, provided however, that if you are late and it is now the 5th of the next month, then the total due would be the correct amount.

TOPIC:

Utilities

If I can't pay my bill, due to COVID-19, are you going to shut off my service or charge me late fees?

REVISED:

POSTED:

The Town understands customers may be effected by COVID-19, therefore, the Town will be suspending all utility shut-offs and late fees due to non-payment, until further notice. To avoid accumulating large back payments, please request to set up a payment plan.

TOPIC:

Utilities

I can't make my full payment, can I establish a payment plan?

REVISED:

POSTED:

We do offer payment plans, on temporary basis, which means you cannot request a payment plan every month to avoid paying your bill on time. Payment plans are subject to approval and late fees may still apply. If you have had a previous payment plan and did not meet the terms, you may not be qualified to apply again. Due to COVID-19, payment plans may be approved more flexibly.

TOPIC:

Utilities

What are the refundable deposits fees?

REVISED:

POSTED:

All new utility accounts require a deposit to be made on their account prior to establishing service. For water OR sewer accounts, the deposit is $100; for water AND sewer accounts, the deposit is $300. This deposit will be credited to your account after 1-year of good payment history (no late fees). Or refunded by check upon moving or canceling service.

TOPIC:

Utilities

What are connection and installation fees?

REVISED:

POSTED:

New service connections require a hook-up fee in the amount of $3,000 per service for In-Town customers and $5,000 per service for Out-Town customers. (Per service means, water and sewer are each assessed these fees.) *Plus, the costs of materials and labor. Hookup fees are the charge assessed to establish use-rights to our services and equally distribute the ongoing costs of maintenance and replacement of the utility systems.

TOPIC:

Utilities

What are turn-on/off fees?

REVISED:

POSTED:

The fee to turn-on your service is $30 for current accounts and $100 for new accounts. This is the cost for our staff member to travel to your location and perform the required service.Turn-off fees are assessed to turn off your service, either by request of the homeowner or due to delinquent payment.

TOPIC:

Utilities

When is my bill due?

REVISED:

POSTED:

Utility payments are due by the 5th of each month, any payment made after the due date will be assessed a $30 late fee and service shutoff is performed no less than 10-days after the shutoff notice is mailed. If your service is shutoff due to delinquent payment a $30 turn-off and a $30 turn-on fee will be assessed to your account. Billing is uploaded on the 5th of each month for the prior month’s usage, and then due the 5th of the following month. E.g. January usage is billed on February 5th and is due on March 5th.

TOPIC:

Utilities

Can I request a late fee waiver?

REVISED:

POSTED:

You can submit a late fee waiver request form to be reviewed by Town staff. If you regularly make late payments, your request may be denied. Not receiving your bill in the mail is not a valid reason for a late payment. Utility payments are always due on the 5th of the month and if your billing is lost in the mail you can view your balance on Xpressbillpay.com or obtain it by calling our office during regular business hours.

TOPIC:

Utilities

Should I shut off my service during the closing process and are there fees?

REVISED:

POSTED:

If you are selling your home to someone other than a close relative or known party, we suggest that you request the service to be shut-off at the time of closing. This is due to the potential concerns that the new owner does not come in to establish an account in their own name, thus leaving any billing responsibility in the prior owner’s name that remains on the “active” account. There is a $30 fee to turn off your service; however, if you have requested that a final meter read was performed by our staff, there would only be one fee assessed if the service was performed at the same time.

TOPIC:

Utilities

Why do I need a final meter read and are there fees?

REVISED:

POSTED:

We are required to receive a final meter read to calculate current charges, prior to processing the final billing request, pursuant to the terms of RCW 60.80.020. The fee for our staff to perform this service is $30. However, the final meter read can be performed by the owner/seller, agent or escrow company for no additional charge. We will compare the usage reported to ensure an accurate read has been report. Additionally, if the closing date is within 10-days of the most recent billing having been processed, we will not require a final meter read and use the reported usage identified on that billing for current charges due. Meter reads for billing are typically conducted on the 1st of each month. If the closing date is within 5-days of the new pending billing meter read being performed, your closing agent can opt to wait for that billing to be uploaded to avoid the additional fee.

TOPIC:

Utilities

How do delinquent utility account balances and liens effect me?

REVISED:

POSTED:

Washington State Law provides that all delinquent utility billing can be assessed against the property as a lien. Therefore, if there is a delinquent balance owed on the account that the current owner does not pay prior to terminating their service, the balance becomes the responsibility of the new property owner. Your escrow company generally handles this during the closing process. However, if you are not using an escrow company, delinquent balance disputes may occur and need to be discussed between the seller and buyer. While we understand the frustration of being assessed these charges, the Town cannot waive delinquent balances pursuant to state and local laws. It is the seller’s duty to notify the escrow company of any and all utility accounts applicable to the property being sold. The Town does require this balance to be paid in full, prior to establishing new service; however, if this causes an undue financial burden to the new owner, the owner can request to establish a payment plan for the delinquent balance.

Our Mission Statement: "Cathlamet is committed to providing credible leadership and quality services to the community through transparency of its processes, good stewardship of public resources, respect for the Town's heritage, and valuing its diverse citizenry."

375 2nd Street

Cathlamet, WA 98612

TEL: 360.795.3203

FAX: 360.795.8500

​​Mon / Wed / Fri: 9am - Noon & 1pm - 4:30pm

Tues / Thurs: 9am - Noon

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