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Quincy residents to get help paying their utility bills

A white and beige building sits under a blue sky.
City of Quincy
Quincy City Commissioners recently approved giving all utility customers a $100 credit on their bills with federal funding from the American Rescue Plan.

Quincy residents are getting a $100 credit on their utility bills.

The City Commission recently approved the assistance for all city customers. Funding for the one-time credit comes from federal dollars through the American Rescue Plan.

Quincy City Manager Robert Nixon says more residents than usual are struggling to pay their power bills amid rising fuel costs. “There were many people who were saying I either have to not get medicine this week or cut down on the amount of food that I’m going to purchase so that I can meet this utility cost.”

Nixon says about 20% of customers are behind on their power bills, with the average bill costing several hundred dollars. He explains this puts a strain on the city, which is contracted with Florida Power and Light to provide electricity to residents.

“Citizens couldn’t afford to pay the higher bills, and so they were making payment arrangements. But the city still has to maintain its relationship with the provider and we have to pay on time," Nixon explained. "It’s putting us behind the eight ball in terms of unanticipated spending.”

Nixon says the city is spending $399,000 of American Rescue Plan funding to provide the credits to more than 3,900 customers. Nixon says the one-time credit will show up on customers’ next bill if they haven’t already received it.

Valerie Crowder hosts and produces state and local newscasts during All Things Considered. Her reporting on local government and politics has received state and regional award recognition. She has also contributed stories to NPR newscasts.