FERNDALE, Wash. — The City of Ferndale has said late fees and water shutoffs due to lack of payment have been suspended for the February 28th and April 30th billing cycles due to financial challenges citizens are facing as a result of layoffs and business closures due to COVID-19 disease concerns.
But the city is unable to forgive individual obligations due to state law and staff have commented during recent council meetings that they were pursuing alternative solutions to provide relief for those facing a financial crisis due to the COVID-19 impacts.
Today, officials with the Ferndale Community Service Cooperative (FCSC) announced they are launching a new program that will address that need.
The Ferndale Community Utilities Fund is a new program that allows donors to contribute financially and those funds could then be used to help Ferndale residents who find themselves unable to fully pay their City of Ferndale utilities bill. The FCSC website describes this as a “temporary” program.
“People are hurting right now, and this program allows us to provide that immediate assistance in a crisis,” said Terri Temple, FCSC Executive Director.
The program is funded by donations from individuals and businesses. Assistance will be provided to qualifying residents with limited income who have been impacted by loss or reduction of work, loss of childcare or suffered illness as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
Ferndale Mayor Greg Hansen said, “Many of us are wanting to give back to the community in as direct a way as possible – and this is one way to do that.”
Donations can be made online at the FCSC website or mailed by check to PO Box 2205, Ferndale, WA 98248. Make checks payable to “Ferndale Community Service Cooperative” with “Utilities Fund” noted on the memo line.
Applications for assistance will begin to be accepted May 15th. Click here for more details about the program and how to apply for assistance.