Have you received an important announcement from the City of Lacey regarding your past-due water bill? If so, you might qualify for financial assistance.

During the pandemic, the City of Lacey (City) adhered to the moratorium and did not enforce its standard monthly processes for collections and disconnection of service for non-payment of water bills. The City is preparing to resume these processes in June (collections) and July (disconnections). Before these practices resume, the City urges residents to take advantage of the programs in place to help them pay their bill and keep their service. To make it easier to access the programs, the City partnered with the Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties (CACLMT) to provide in-person financial assistance for utility bills.

two people sitting at a large table with swag bags and a laptop on it
The Community Action Council of Lewis, Mason & Thurston Counties (CACLMT) partnered with the City of Lacey to help residents with financial assistance for utility bills. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey

City of Lacey Utility Bill Financial Assistance is Available Now

The most direct method of financial assistance available for past-due accounts is to set-up a payment plan with the City (available for balances accrued on or after February 1, 2023). Various other forms of financial aid are also available, depending on qualifications. Now through the first week of July, the CACLMT will be at Lacey City Hall once a week to provide in-person assistance to review customer qualifications and find any possible matches to available grants and programs. For example, the Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) and the City of Lacey funds are both directly related to residential water/sewer assistance. “If someone has qualified for LIHWAP before, there is no need to reapply, and they are already qualified for the assistance today.” Explains Stephanie Arnold, the energy assistance program manager at CACLMT.

two people standing in line at a counter
In-person help is being offered on the dates leading up to July. Photo courtesy: City of Lacey

The City of Lacey Utility Billing Department has had financial assistance available for past-due balances for quite some time. Unfortunately, many people have not taken advantage of the help for a variety of reasons. “We hope our customers take advantage of our partnership with the Community Action Council and use the in-person help being offered on the dates leading up to July (see table below),” says Carol Hellickson, utility billing supervisor at City Hall. There is still time to set up a payment plan and qualify for financial assistance. “The LIHWAP funds managed by the Community Action Council will be returned to Thurston County this fall if residents do not take advantage of them,” adds Carol.

In-person Help with Financial Assistance at Lacey City Hall (420 College St SE)
DateTimeLocation in City Hall
Wednesday, May 319 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Executive Board Room
Monday, June 59 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Community Room
Monday, June 129 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Executive Board Room
Tuesday, June 209 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Executive Board Room
Tuesday, June 279 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Community Room
Monday, July 39 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.Community Room

The last thing the City wants to do is take away essential services and they are doing everything they can to prevent it from happening. “Our main priority for our utility customers with past-due accounts is to prevent them from being disconnected,” says Carol. We are predicting a surge of customers needing assistance as the disconnection date gets closer, “so we encourage customers to come in as soon as possible,” she adds.

The City of Lacey Water Bill Dates Breakdown

“Since the beginning of 2023, approximately 4,500 customers have accumulated past-due balances, with about 3,500 of those accruals occurring during the pandemic,” says Carol. The City has sent out past-due notices each month, as well as announcements regarding the standard disconnection and collection processes to resume in July intended to inform and encourage residents to be proactive about getting their accounts up-to-date before this takes place. “We received the funds for utility bills in January of 2022, and we’ve been trying to provide assistance to the residents of Lacey ever since,” adds Stephanie. Do not wait until it is too late to receive the funds you are qualified for.

See table below for important dates.

NowPayment plans are available (for balances accrued on or after 02/01/23)
06/16/23Final due date for balances accrued prior to 02/01/23
06/17/23Balances accrued prior to 02/01/23 will be sent to collections
07/10/23Disconnections begin for past-due accounts without pledges or
payment plans in good standing

Lacey Utility Bill Assistance Qualifications

You can pay your utility bill in a variety of ways including online, by phone or mail, and in person at Lacey City Hall. The City’s top priority is to provide support and services that will prevent disconnections of water services for Lacey residents. Follow the below links to learn about qualifications and how to apply:

For more information on qualifications, visit the City of Lacy website. (Please note: even if residents do not qualify for LIHWAP or City funds, it is best to contact the CAC as there may be other assistance programs available.

For more information about financial aid, visit the CAC website.


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