Deferred COVID-19 Payment Plans

Communication between the City and customers remains vital. The City’s goal is to ensure customers maintain access to essential services during the state’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In April 2023, the City will send delinquent notices to inform customers with delinquent accounts via certified mail. All delinquent notices will contain a payment plan option form to be completed by customer and returned to the City by June 9, 2023. All active customer accounts with a past due balance will receive a notice. If a tenant account has a past due balance, both the tenant account and the property owner/landlord will receive notices.

Customer Support Program

Beginning with the Governor’s initial proclamation in March 2020, all service shutoffs and imposition of late penalties were suspended through September 30, 2021. The City of Gig Harbor has extended suspension of service shutoffs and late penalties through June 12, 2023. The City of Gig Harbor will offer a long-term payment plan and referral to outside organizations for assistance with outstanding utility balances for customers financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Payment Plans

Payment plans are designed to assist customers in bringing utility accounts current by the end of the plan term. Payment plans will be available to residential customers under the following guidelines:

Past Due Amount

Maximum Payment Terms (Months or Billing Periods)

$500 or less

4 Months or 2 Billing Periods

$501 to $1,000

8 Months or 4 Billing Periods

$1,001 to $1,500

12 Months or 6 Billing Periods

$1,501 to $2,000

16 Months or 8 Billing Periods

Greater than $2,000

20 Months or 10 Billing Periods

** All payment plans will evenly spread out the cost of the outstanding balance over the term of the plan. Future bills must be paid by the due date stated on the bill.

  1. All past due amounts are subject to an 8% per annum penalty charge.
  2. Payments submitted for past due accounts, whether on a payment plan or not, will be applied to the oldest charges first.
  3. The City will resume imposing late penalties on billings dated June 12, 2023 or later, for all accounts that have a past due amount owed.
  4. Non-compliance with a payment plan may result in shutoff of services and/or other collection activities as follows:
  1. Upon timely notification by the customer of a late or missed payment installment, the City may, at its discretion, allow the payment plan to continue.
  2. Absent timely notification by the customer, a disconnect notice will be issued and, if action is not taken by the customer to remedy the account, services will be shut off in accordance with the disconnection notice.
  3. If a Deferred COVID-19 Payment Plan Agreement (DCPPA) installment is missed, a one time exception will be made if the installment is paid plus $50 fee.
  4. The City reserves the right to exercise any and all lien and contractual rights and to collect outstanding utility payments. This may include, but is not limited to, discontinuing payment plans and shutting off service or not turning on service for customer or future customers until the account is brought into good standing.
  5. Payment plans do not apply to charges after June 12, 2023.

Other Resources

If customers require additional resources beyond an approved payment plan, the City will refer customers to other organizations, including:  

  1. Washington State Department of Commerce has a water assistance which is provided through the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) and provides funds to assist low-income households with water and wastewater bills that are disconnected or are in imminent threat of disconnection. 
  2. Pierce County has the Low-Income Water Assistance Program (LIWAP) which is a new Human Services program funded by the Washington State Department of Health and Human Services and is designed to pay off debts on water and sewer bills up to $2,500 for qualified Pierce County residents. If you would like to make an appointment for Energy/Water Assistance, please call 253-798-4328 to see if your household qualifies.
  3. 2-1-1 is a free confidential community service and your one-stop connection to the local services you need, from utility assistance, food, housing, health, childcare, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention and much more. If you are outside of Washington or have a problem dialing the number 2-1-1, please dial 1-877-211-9274.
  4. The Gig Harbor Peninsula Fish Food Bank and Community Services provides financial assistance which helps families and individuals during difficult times of transition or financial emergency. Financial aid is approved on a case-by-case basis. GHP FISH may provide limited help with: rent, utilities, prescriptions, education expenses, and other emergency needs. To request help, call the financial aid line at 253-851-8800. Leave your name, phone number, and a brief message on how we may help.

Post-Moratorium Transition Timeline

Send delinquent notices to affected customers and approve payment arrangements for those who respond by June 9, 2023. 

Specific dates:

Certified Delinquent Notices/Payment Plan Sent By: April 6, 2023

Phone call follow up (no response): June 1 thru June 9, 2023 

Customer responses due: End of Business June 9, 2023


Shutoffs for non-payment and no payment plan: 

Create shut off List: July 1, 2023

Disconnect Notice send out (10-day notice) door hanger: July 10 thru July 14, 2023

24 hr. door hanger: 10 days after Disconnect Notice sent

Shut off: 11 days after Disconnect Notice

Return to normal operations

Resume shut off and late fees per GHMC 13.04.050 for billing dated June 30, 2023, or later for all accounts that have a past due balance and have not arranged a payment plan under this policy.