Aurora, CO

Aurora considers program to help low-income residents with water bills

David Heitz

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Low-income Aurora residents may soon get help paying their water bills.

The City Council will vote Monday whether to use $15 million in America Rescue Plan money to join the state's Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program.

Aurora Water also must become a state vendor for the Colorado Department of Human Services to receive water payments.

To qualify for help, residents must:

· Complete an application

· Not make more than 60 percent of the average median income for Denver, or $44,016 for one person, $60,000 for four persons

· Pay a water provider directly for drinking water, sewer, or wastewater

· Supply proof of lawful presence in the United States

· Supply a recent water bill

· Have a past due amount, service disconnected, or in the process of being disconnected.

The report said that the fund would provide a one-time benefit to cover the entire amount owed at the time of application.

Aurora Water Cares also helps

Aurora residents also can get utility help through Aurora Water Cares, or AWC. "The program was created for customers that may have difficulty paying their water bills at times due to a medical crisis, job loss or other financial challenges," the report said. So far, the program has paid $130,967 in water bills for 715 households.

Water customer donations, which total almost $25,000, help pay for the program. The additional money comes from the city's general fund and federal COVID relief dollars.

Both programs have similar guidelines and can be used by the same household.

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I have been in the news business more than 30 years, spending much of my career at some of the best local newspapers in the country. Today, I report on Denver City Hall, homelessness and other topics for NewsBreak, much like I did in my twenties covering Newport Beach, Calif. for the Daily Pilot. I consider myself a lucky guy to still be doing what I love after so many years.

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