Lanett giving break on electricity bills

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, May 6, 2020

LANETT — City of Lanett utility customers will be getting a break on their bill this month. On Monday, they were given a one-time 25 percent reduction on the electricity portion of the bill. It’s being done to alleviate some of the financial burden created by the current COVID-19 pandemic. The savings will be reflected on the May 5 and May 20 billing cycles.

The reduction is being offered by the city’s electrical provider, the Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA) and being passed on to the utility customers by the city. It’s being offered to help customers who have suffered lost wages due to stay-at-home restrictions.

“The City of Lanett has made this decision due to the impact that COVID-19 is having on the local community,” the approved resolution reads, “and to ensure that the customers of this community have access to power during these troubling times.”

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Mayor Kyle McCoy said he liked that all utility customers in the city will be benefitting from this.

“You probably won’t find many cities that will be doing this,” he said.

Council Member Tony Malone said he was especially pleased for senior citizens to be getting this break.

Council Member Jamie Heard said that he often hears complaints that some people’s Lanett bills are higher than what other city residents are receiving.

“There is some confusion out there,” McCoy said. “It’s because they don’t understand the reason for it. Those with the higher bills are getting their electricity, natural gas, water, sewer and garbage collection on one bill from the city. Some people get their electricity, gas and water from other providers and get those bills separately from them.”

McCoy said that anyone who does not understand their bills should call city hall.

“It’s our job to educate people one bills and why they are that way,” he said.

In other action on Monday, the city approved a resolution to seek two firefighter grants from the Department of Homeland Security. One of the grants is for fire protection and safety, the other for firefighter safety and equipment.

“This opportunity recently surfaced,” he said. “We’d like to get some breathing apparatus. It would help keep our guys safe, and it’s our time to be getting it. We have been fortunate to have gotten some of these grants in the past. It would really help us a lot to be included in this cycle.”

The council held the first reading of an ordinance amending the salary schedule to give fire and EMS personnel along with police officers a raise. It could be approved at the next meeting on May 20.

The meeting took place inside the council chamber with everyone maintaining the recommended social distancing of six feet apart.

“I think we are okay,” the mayor said. “We are at least six feet apart, and there’s no more than 10 people gathered here.”

It was the first meeting inside the council chamber since March. The two April meetings were Zoom meetings with each member taking part at home.