CLARKSDALE MUNICIPAL RATE PAYERS BILL OF RIGHTS
From BETTER CLARKSDALE
via Stanley Clark and Marvin Reddick
The following Rights are available to all residential utility customers of the Municipality of Clarksdale, Mississippi under the provisions of Clarksdale Public Utilities.
Rate Payer’s Rights in General
- Residents of the Municipality of Clarksdale, Mississippi shall have as a general right, the most efficient and economical utility services available to the city.
- Residents of the Municipality of Clarksdale, Mississippi shall have as a general right, the right to complete transparency in the dealings of Clarksdale Public Utilities.
- Residents of the Municipality of Clarksdale, Mississippi shall have as a general right, the right to address grievance to the Commissioner.
Interruption of Service
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of service for nonpayment on any Saturday or Sunday or any holiday observed by the utility, unless the utility is open to accept payment and restore service on those days.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of service for a period of sixty (60) days for nonpayment when the utility receives written notice from a medical doctor licensed to practice in the State of Mississippi, or any adjoining state, certifying that discontinuance of service would create a life-threatening situation for the customer or other permanent resident of the customer’s household.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of service or refusal of service because a former occupant, not of the same household, failed to pay prior bill.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of service for failure to pay for merchandise purchased from Clarksdale Public Utilities.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid disconnection of their electric or gas service between December 1 and March 1.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of electric service for nonpayment of bills if, as of 8:00 a.m. on the scheduled disconnection day, if an Excessive Heat Warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for the county of the scheduled disconnection.
- Ratepayers who have had their service discontinued for non-payment, shall have the right to have their service restored in a prompt and efficient manner on the first business day after the balance due is paid, except under extreme circumstances where ongoing restoration efforts prevent reconnection from occurring within that time period.
Notice of Interruption of Service
- Ratepayers shall have the right to be given a written notice from the utility company of pending discontinuation of service at least five (5) days prior to disconnection of service. This notice shall include a date on or after which discontinuance may occur.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to negotiate with Clarksdale Public Utilities a delayed payment plan to avoid discontinuation of service for a delinquent account in accordance with the utility’s terms and conditions.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to designate another person to receive all information regarding their services including notices regarding past due bills and disconnection of service.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to avoid discontinuation of service for failure to pay a portion of any bill that is in dispute, provided that a deposit is made by the ratepayer for amounts in dispute.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to negotiate monthly installments for initial service deposits in excess of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) provided that the entire amount of the deposit is paid within 60 days.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to view or listen to Clarksdale Public Utilities hearings and docket calls that are held via the internet.
- Ratepayers shall be given accurate and understandable itemization of billing as well as the price and terms of service.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to intervene in any case before Clarksdale Public Utilities affecting their rates or their utility service.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to have a written explanation if the utility company refuses to initially serve a consumer. When the ratepayer has provided the utility company with a valid mailing address, the explanation shall be mailed to the ratepayer within seven (7) business days and shall include the reason service is being refused and what actions the consumer must take in order to receive service.
- Ratepayers shall have the right to Board representation. Clarksdale, Mississippi’s Mayor and Board of Commissioners shall appoint board members to Clarksdale Public Utilities.
- Each member shall be assigned an area of the city of Clarksdale to represent and shall have the general responsibilities to be the field representative for the ratepayers within his or her designated area with regards to issues of public utilities. It shall be the duty of board members to identify issues within their area and work towards solutions.
- In addition to their general duties, each board member shall be responsible for maintaining the following:
- A public access phone.
- An official business email address.
- A 72-hour turn around on phone calls and emails.
- Arraigning monthly meetings within their respective areas one week prior to Clarksdale Public Utilities monthly meetings.