(Photo by Clay Banks via Unsplash)

The city of Benicia has enacted a moratorium on utility service disconnections and late fees for non-payment due to the  coronavirus pandemic and the resulting closure of city offices.

The city has also extended deadlines for business license tax and transient occupancy tax payments.

The utility service moratorium is for both residential and commercial water and sewer customers. The tax deadline extensions will apply until June 15 to all businesses.

“We know that the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 emergency and the current shelter-at-home order has created a financial strain on our residents and businesses,” City Manager Lorie Tinfow said in a statement. “We are extending due dates to relieve some of the stress in dealing with the current situation.”

The city is making its most flexible payment plan available to utility customers indicating an impact or hardship as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. Customers should fill out the Payment Arrangement Agreement online at www.ci.benicia.ca.us/UtilityBilling and email it to utilitybilling@ci.benicia.ca.us.

Although city offices are closed to the public, customers can make payment by telephone at 866-344-1979; online at www.ci.benicia.ca.us/UtilityBilling; or via the drop box (do not leave cash) in front of City Hall, 250 East L St.

Customers with questions about starting or stopping water services or other service-related issues can go online to www.ci.benicia.ca.us/UtilityBilling and fill out the appropriate form, then email it to utilitybilling@ci.benicia.ca.us.