Petersburg Pilot -


City manager's report: Residents can pay utilities online


Petersburg residents can now pay their utility bills online. A new program allows utility customers to register their accounts and then pay monthly bills on the web site with a credit card.

Customers can log on to verify their accounts with an account number and either a meter number or phone number associated with the account.

“The new program will let customers view usage and billing history for themselves,” said City Manager Steve Giesbrecht reported to the City Council on Monday.

He also noted that online bill pay offers the added convenience of being able to pay from home instead sending a payment through the mail or paying in person at City Hall.

“Please take advantage of that, if you pay your bills that way,” he said.

The online bill pay is not completely paperless; customers will still receive a paper bill in the mail. Paperless billing is something the City is looking into, but it is not there yet, Giesbrecht said.

Another request City Hall often gets is the ability to pay moorage fees online.

According to Giesbrecht, there's no program set up for that yet. Harbor customers still need to make their payments at the Harbor Office.

Giesbrecht's report to the City Council listed several other items:

• The Harbor is working with the Chinook Mitigation Grant program to fund a new fish cleaning station in the South Harbor for sports fishermen.

• Emergency dredging of the Middle Harbor was successful. “We got it done. It looks like it was successful. We cleaned up that mess at least for now,” he said.

• The Facilities Maintenance Dept. is heading up a project to replace the lighting for the racquetball court, the Harbor Office, the Scow Bay Fire Hall, the Motor Pool Shop and the Community Gym. Local electricians will be hired and the work will begin soon.

“We've got some [new lighting] in the Community Gym already and it looks like it's going to make a big difference,” he said.

• The City is waiting for a quote from the contractor on paving on 2nd Street, after the utility work is completed.

“It doesn't mean we can do it, but we're hoping we get good bids after we get the utility work done. We're hoping we'll have the money and get some solid bids, and maybe pave 2nd Street,” he said. “If the bids don't come in low enough, we are hoping we'll be able to put some sort of seal-coating or quazi-hard surface on it. But the concept of getting it all paved, just wasn't going to fall into the budget this year.”

• The water and sewer project has moved back to Noseeum, followed by Neptune, Gauffin and Odin. And PIA crews are scheduled to resume the sidewalk project on 1st Street. This project is expected to take a couple of months.

• Board of Equalization will be held during the City Council Meeting on May 21 to hear any unresolved property assessment claims.

• A new State, unfunded, mandated program, that applies to the discharge of Water Treatment Plant backwash water, has been issued. This applies to water that has been “backwashed” through the filters.

“We don't yet know the full impact. There will probably be some extra equipment we'll need to buy, and the fees associated with that … it's always kind of a pain, but it happens periodically when they decide they've got new things to measure. This is the first level 'it's coming' and 'start getting ready.' It's not in next year's budget at this point,” he said.

• The City's Annual Household Hazardous Waste event will be held June 2 – 3. This event is only for residential homes. The hazardous waste items that will be accepted include paint, cleaning solvents, and petroleum-based products, Giesbrecht said. Residents can call the Sanitation Dept. for more information.

• Giesbrecht also thanked the Middle School wrestlers who, with help from the Public Works Dept., filled five dump truck loads of slash and limbs from Sandy Beach Park.


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