Utilities Administration Transition Information

Tuesday, November 12, 2019:

Copperas Cove, Texas – The City of Copperas Cove received email notification from FATHOM this past Saturday, November 9, 2019, that they will be going out of business. The email stated in part that “Despite a massive effort this year, we [FATHOM] have not been able to secure an investment or additional debt to save our business”. The City of Copperas Cove and FATHOM entered into a partnership on May 17, 2016.

FATHOM hosted a webinar early Tuesday morning with clients throughout the nation to provide further details on the situation, leading City administration to believe FATHOM will discontinue all contracted services as early as the end of November 2019. To say we are astounded by this announcement is an understatement. While City administration was aware of and understood the day-to-day challenges faced over the past 3½ years, we are disappointed that FATHOM representatives not once spoke of or alluded to this possibility.

We are sharing this information with our citizens and customers in an effort to be transparent about this situation and will continue to provide updates as new information is available. At this point, we are privy to very limited information and continue to seek answers to questions. Calls or visits to Utility Administration to verify or ask questions about the matter, while important, will only slow down local day-to-day operations so please be patient and know updates will be provided as soon as possible.

Regarding account payments, until further notice customers are encouraged to continue making regularly scheduled payments on utility accounts. The revenues received through bill payments will continue to be received by the City of Copperas Cove.

Lastly, FATHOM representatives will meet face-to-face with City administration early next week to further discuss the situation. We will continue to evaluate our options in an effort to develop a transition plan and way forward. City administration anticipates hosting a Town Hall meeting late next week to provide an update and receive questions from our citizens. Further information on that event will be released later this week.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019: (Update #1)

Copperas Cove, Texas – City staff has reviewed the many comments and messages that were left on our social media page and wish to provide some answers to common questions and concerns which many of you have. We also conducted several media interviews today, with both print and TV media outlets, and will share some of their stories over to social media for additional info. We will continue to provide more updates as they become available:

  1. Will I have an interruption in water service? There will be NO interruption in water service to our customers resulting from Fathom’s decision to close their business. The City receives its water from Belton Lake, through a contract with Bell County WCID #1, and we maintain the city’s water system. The water meters and Neptune meter readers, which were installed during the transition in 2016 and 2017, are owned by the City. FATHOM does NOT have the capability to turn water on/off to your residence, this must be done by City staff.
  1. How do I make bill payments, where does the money go, and what happens to my account deposit? Until further notice, we recommend customers continue to make payments via the current options available. All money that is collected by FATHOM on behalf of the City by any method is applied to the appropriate customer account and remitted to the City. The option to make in person payments to City staff is also available by visiting Utility Administration at City Hall, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A. Account deposits are also in possession of the City, not FATHOM.
  1. Who will handle my billing and customer service needs? Until further notice, FATHOM is still handling billing and customer care needs through the end of November 2019. City administration has a scheduled meeting with FATHOM representatives the week of November 18th to discuss options moving forward. All options will be evaluated, such as needed service agreements, software, and personnel. One such option is to bring full-service in-house utility billing needs of our community back to Copperas Cove.
  1. Will FATHOM be required to pay any money back and/or be sued by the City? The City’s Attorney, DNRBZ, is currently reviewing the contract and will provide a legal opinion on their findings at next week’s City Council Regular Meeting on Tuesday, November 19th, at 6pm during an Executive Session. As this item is sensitive and may require future litigation, this portion of the meeting will not be open to the public. Any legal action the City might take would be initiated at the direction of City Council.
  1. How can I find out more? City Manager Ryan Haverlah will make a brief statement referencing the situation during next week’s City Council Regular Meeting, on Tuesday, November 19th beginning at 6pm in the Council Chambers, 508 S. 2nd Street. A Town Hall Meeting is also being coordinated for late next week and details will be released very soon. The meeting will be open to the public to attend and allow opportunities for questions to be asked and answered.

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Thursday, November 14, 2019: (Update #2)

Copperas Cove, Texas – City administration continues to gather information in effort to develop a transition plan suitable for our community and citizens. A Utilities Administration Town Hall Meeting has been scheduled for Friday, November 22, 2019 at 6pm at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, located at 1206 W Avenue B. City Manager Ryan Haverlah will give a presentation and provide a factual overview of the situation. The meeting will allow ample time for a Q&A session so public questions may be received and answered. This event will be streamed via Facebook Live, we encourage those unable to attend to view on the City’s Facebook Page at: https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/

Additionally, the City has recently processed an Open Records Requests for the email which was received by the City from FATHOM. We thought this would be a good opportunity to share that document with our citizens as well to ensure transparency:

Tuesday, November 19, 2019: (Update #3)

Copperas Cove, Texas – City Administration continues to gather information in effort to develop a transition plan suitable for our community and citizens. As such, we will be sharing the information learned thus far with City Council and our citizens at several public meetings this week, as follows:

 Regular City Council Meeting – Tuesday, November 19th, 6pm in the Council Chambers, 508 South 2nd Street: Will include a report by the City Manager and a Citizens Forum to receive public comment.

Special City Council Meeting – Thursday, November 21st, 12pm in the Council Chambers, 508 South 2nd Street: Will include discussion, direction and possible action on software and services for Utility Administration, as well as an opportunity for public comment.

Utilities Administration and FATHOM Public Forum – Friday, November 22, 2019, 6pm in the Civic Center, 1206 W Avenue B: Will include an overview and update on Utilities Administration and FATHOM, as well as a question and answer session.

All meetings have been posted as public meetings and will therefore be open for the public to attend. The Special Meeting and Public Forum will also be streamed via Facebook Live so we encourage those unable to attend to view on the City’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/

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Wednesday, November 20, 2019: (Update #4)

Copperas Cove, Texas – City Manager Ryan Haverlah provided an update to City Council and our citizens during the November 19th City Council Regular Meeting. The full meeting video may be located and viewed on the City’s website, however the portions specifically dealing with the Utilities Administration transition have been carved out and may be viewed at: http://www.copperascovetx.gov/files/pio/fathom/citymgr_report.mp4. We strongly encourage all citizens to view the video for the most up to date information.

At this point, City Administration’s recommendation will be to take Utilities Administration back in-house as a full-service department to provide for the needs of our community. This would include customer service, as well as oversight of meter reads, billing calculations, and bill postings/mailings. Future discussions will include consideration of a physical location, software for billing, customer portal, payment processing, bill printing and mailing. While the City does own the customer meters and the meter reading system, discussion will also be held on software to manage the readings.

It was stated during the meeting that FATHOM has discontinued auto-pay, however we confirmed today that was not accurate. The City has since requested that FATHOM take the appropriate steps to immediately stop all auto-payments. Once FATHOM has stopped all auto-payments, we will include in future updates. As previously stated, all payments submitted through the currently available options will be posted to customer accounts and remitted to the City of Copperas Cove. To provide customers a greater level of confidence, City Administration recommends all customers begin making payments via one of these two manners:

By Mail: Utility Administration, P.O. Drawer 1419, Coppers Cove, TX 76522

In Person: Utility Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 (there is also a 24-hour drop box location on the door of Suite B.

*Future online payments options are still being reviewed*

Reminder of Upcoming Meetings:

Special City Council Meeting – Thursday, November 21st, 12pm in the Council Chambers, 508 South 2nd Street: Will include discussion, direction and possible action on software and services for Utility Administration, as well as an opportunity for public comment. (Please understand this is a quickly evolving situation and City Council may take action during this meeting to authorize the City Manager to move forward on preparing various agreements as necessary).

Utilities Administration and FATHOM Public Forum – Friday, November 22, 2019, 6pm in the Civic Center, 1206 W Avenue B: Will include an overview and update on Utilities Administration and FATHOM, as well as a question and answer session.

All meetings have been posted as public meetings and will therefore be open for the public to attend. The November 21st Special Meeting and the November 22nd Public Forum will also be streamed via Facebook Live so we encourage those unable to attend to view on the City’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/

City Manager Report & Citizens Forum on the Utilities Administration Transition – City Council Regular Meeting 11-19-2019

Video

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Tuesday, November 26, 2019: (Update #5)

Copperas Cove, Texas – A Special City Council Meeting was held on Thursday, November 21st in the Council Chambers. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss potential solutions on the transfer of Utilities Administration back to a full-service in-house department. The entire meeting video may be viewed on the City’s website at:

http://www.copperascovetx.gov/wp-content/uploads/video-gallery/2019-City-Council-Videos/11212019_special.mp4

A Utilities Administration Town Hall Meeting was held on Friday, November 22nd at 6pm at the Civic Center. Following a presentation by City Manager Ryan Haverlah, a Q&A session was held in which answers were provided to the various questions which were asked. There were approximately 200 citizens in attendance for this event. The meeting was broadcast on the City’s Facebook page via Facebook Live, and may now be viewed at the following link:

https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/videos/739860926478713/

Special City Council Meeting – A Special City Council Meeting has been posted for Tuesday, November 26th, beginning at 5pm in the Council Chambers, 508 S. 2nd Street. The purpose of the public meeting is to further discuss software and service vendors for a customer information system, customer portal, work order system, payment processor and bill printer/mailer for Utilities Administration.

The City has previously requested that FATHOM take the appropriate steps to immediately stop all auto-payments, however we have not yet received a response from them on the request. Until further notice and effective December 1st, all payments will be required to be paid by one of the following methods:

By Mail: City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, TX 76522

In Person: City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A, Copperas Cove, TX 76522

*Online payment methods are being researched for future use.

**A payment by phone method will be available in the coming days; the direct phone line number will be announced in the coming days.

***There is currently a secure drop box located on the door of City Hall, Suite B, however this location may change once Suite B is opened to allow for better customer service.

****Various other City departments are being considered as temporary locations to make payments, to help alleviate customer wait time; more information to follow.

An additional update will be provided as more information becomes available. We appreciate the continued support and patience provided by our citizens.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019: (Update #6)

Copperas Cove, Texas – During a Special City Council Meeting that was held on Tuesday, November 26th, City Council directed the City Manager to continue negotiations with Core & Main for the meters and automated meter readers software, as well as with Incode for accounts/billing software and with WaterSmart for an online portal solution. The full meeting video may be reviewed at: http://www.copperascovetx.gov/wp-content/uploads/video-gallery/2019-City-Council-Videos/11262019_specialmeeting.mp4. City staff continues to work with these vendors to create agreements which will be presented to City Council during a Special City Council Meeting on Thursday, December 12th at 5pm in the Council Chambers, located at 508 S. 2nd Street. Agreements with these vendors are necessary to assist with operations once we bring our full-service in-house Utilities Administration Department back to the City.

The City received confirmation on December 4th that FATHOM will remain “Live” through December 13th. What does this mean? Essentially customer service phone line and online payment options will remain active until that time. Customers may continue calling for customer service needs and to make payments, or login to the portal to make online payments. (Please note, any payments made through FATHOM are applied to the customer account and remitted to the City; there have been no interruptions, concerns or issues with the City receiving the funds from FATHOM.)

The City and FATHOM will discontinue partnered services on December 17th. Please note that the phone number, web address and mailing address will all be updated to reflect local contacts and addresses on the next round of issued bills. The local Utilities Administration office located at City Hall, 914 S. Main Street, Suites A and B, is currently assisting with a large majority of customer needs and will assume all services once the partnership with FATHOM is dissolved, including setting up new accounts and closing existing accounts.

For an estimated period of approximately 4-6 weeks after December 13th, customer account information, including payment information, will not be current and customers will not receive bills as a result of transitioning to a new account and billing system. Customers are welcome to continue making payments in advance and in anticipation of receiving a reconciled bill following the transition. Please note that once the transition is completed, customers will receive a reconciled bill for all services rendered.

Current suggested payments options:

By Mail:

City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 (check, money order)

Online:

Either through the FATHOM payment portal or through a bank draft. The City is currently working with WaterSmart to ensure that a customer payment portal will remain active post-FATHOM until the City completes the transition back to a full-service in-house operation. While this portal will not reflect current account status, it will continue to provide online payment options and access to consumption data.

 

In Person:

City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A (check, money order, cash, debit/credit card); Suite B (check, money order, debit/credit card – no cash). (Various other City departments are being considered as temporary locations to make payments; more information to follow.)

 

Drop Box Locations:

Utility Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A & B (Suite A has a drop location available inside during business hours; Suite B door has an outside drop location available AFTER business hours)

Police Department, 302 E Ave E (payments may be dropped off inside the facility by handing the sealed payment to a Records Clerk or Communications Operator, available 24 hours)

By Phone:

Call (844) 685-6349 to make payments by phone through December 13th.

Routine Questions:

If paying locally by check or money order, who do I make the payment to the order of?
*City of Copperas Cove

Why does my bill still tell me to make my payment to FATHOM?

*We are currently working with FATHOM to update the information on the next round of bills to direct payments to the City. Until December 13th however, you may still make payment by phone or online through FATHOM.

Why is the City not mailing these updates to residents?

*Two reasons: the first is that with 14,000+ utility accounts it would be very costly at $7,000+ for a single round of mailers; the second is that this has been such a fluid and evolving process that updates occur daily. We do anticipate that once we have finalized agreements a round of mailers with all pertinent info will be distributed to customers.

How is the City sharing this information?

*To date we have utilized such means as: media release, media interviews and constant coverage by both print and tv news, social media platforms, public meetings and a Town Hall meeting, emails, CodeRed, Gov’t Access Channel, etc. We are asking our residents to also speak with each other and ensure the message is spread.

Again, we sincerely appreciate the patience of our residents as we work through this transition to bring Utilities Administration back as a full-service in-house operation. All information related to this process is on the City’s website at: http://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/uati/

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Monday, December 16, 2019: (Update #7)

Copperas Cove, Texas – During a Special City Council Meeting that was held on Thursday, December 12th, City Council received an update from City Manager Ryan Haverlah on Utility Administration services. Action was also taken and passed unanimously to authorize the City Manager to execute the following agreements: WaterSmart, who will provide the utility customer portal; Tyler Technologies, who will provide the utility customer information system and billing software (Incode); and DataProse, who will provide utility bill printing and mailing services. Agreements with these vendors are necessary to assist with operations once we bring our full-service in-house Utilities Administration Department back to the City. We strongly encourage all citizens to review the full meeting video to stay up to date on the situation. The meeting video may be viewed at:
http://www.copperascovetx.gov/wp-content/uploads/video-gallery/2019-City-Council-Videos/12122019_specialmeeting.mp4

FATHOM’s last day of operation is December 17th, but what pertains to our City the most is that December 13th was the last day they were essentially doing any type of work for Copperas Cove. Per the time of this update, customers no longer have access to contact FATHOM for any reason and should beginning utilizing the resources of the local office for any and all Utility service needs. The Utilities Administration page of the City’s website has also been updated to reflect current information. The phone number is (254)547-8718 and email is utilities@copperascovetx.gov.  See all updates on the City’s website at:

http://www.copperascovetx.gov/utility_administration/.

The most current round of billing has been updated to reflect the phone number, web address and mailing address of the local office. December bills have been distributed to all customers, some of which have been sent early, and will include all base rates but only consumption charges through the date of billing. Following this final round of billing, no customer bills will be distributed for up to 6 weeks to allow for the transition to a new account and billing system. Once the transition is completed, the next round of bills will include consumption from the last reading date, as well as all fees/charges; this essentially could be a ‘double’ bill. We understand the hardship this could cause for some, so customers will have the ability to establish a payment arrangement by speaking with a Customer Service Representative (CSR) to make the request once the next bills arrive. Customers are welcome, and we encourage you, to continue making some sort of payment in advance and in anticipation of receiving a reconciled bill following the transition. Delaying bill payments during the transition period will not cause delinquency; however, for those customers who do not keep their account current during the transition, they will have to make appropriate payment arrangements within the first billing after the transition is complete. Please be aware that once the transition is completed, customers will receive a reconciled bill for all services rendered.

Current payments options are:

By Mail:
City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 (check or money order; include bill stub or name, service address and account number)

By Phone:
Call the local office at (254)547-8718 to make payments by phone (credit/debit card)
Hours: 8:00am to 5:00pm

In Person:
City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A (check, money order, cash, credit/debit card); Suite B (check, money order, credit/debit card – no cash)
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm

Drop Box Locations:
Utility Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A & B (Suite A has a drop location available inside during business hours; Suite B door has an outside drop location available AFTER business hours)

Police Department, 302 E Ave E (payments may be dropped off inside the facility by handing the sealed payment to a Records Clerk or Communications Operator, available 24 hours)

*(Drop Box payments should be check or money order only; include bill stub or name, service address and account number)

Online:
Coming soon; will be announced once the WaterSmart customer payment portal site is active.

Automatic Draft (ACH):
Coming soon; will be announced once transition is complete.

We will prepare and distribute a letter in the coming week to be sent to all utility account customers, which will include up to date transition, billing, payment options and other important information.

We sincerely appreciate the patience of our residents as we work through this transition to bring Utilities Administration back as a full-service in-house operation. All information related to this process can be found on the City’s website at:

http://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/uati/

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019: (Update #8)

Copperas Cove, Texas – Unfortunately, due to the transition, Utility Administration is temporarily unable to take credit card payments at this time. The City and a credit card processing company are working closely to correct the problem preventing credit card payments. Once corrected, a notice will be released. Accounts will not be considered delinquent should this situation delay customer payments.

We sincerely appreciate the patience of our residents as we work through this transition to bring Utilities Administration back as a full-service in-house operation. All information related to this process can be found on the City’s website at: http://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/uati/

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Tuesday, December 17, 2019: (Update #9)

Copperas Cove, Texas – The City of Copperas Cove is pleased to announce that as a result of City staff working with the vendor all day to resolve the issue, Utilities Administration is once again able to accept credit/debit cards as a form of payment. This form of payment may be utilized when paying by phone or in person. Online and Automatic Drafts (ACH) are not yet available but notice will be provided once they are in the near future. Customer accounts will not be considered delinquent as a result of this issue.

We sincerely appreciate the patience of our residents as we work through this transition to bring Utilities Administration back as a full-service in-house operation.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020: (Update #10)

Copperas Cove, Texas – The City of Copperas Cove and Utilities Administration is pleased to announce the transition process and integration of data is on schedule as planned. We are appreciative of the continued patience of our valued citizens and customers.

As we near the final stages of the integration, it is necessary for Utilities Administration staff to receive comprehensive training on the new system and work through final integration details to ensure quality services. As a result, the Utilities Administration office will be closed on Thursday, January 30th and Friday, January 31st to accomplish these necessary tasks. Electronic message boards will be placed at City Hall for further notification to our citizens. Also, a staff member will be positioned outside of the office to accept drop off payments (check or money order only), receive service requests, and answer questions; they will also direct customers to the Development Services office should the customer wish to pay with cash.

Once the transition is completed, the City anticipates the first round of billing to be generated during mid-February. The first round of bills will include consumption from the last reading date, as well as all applicable fees/charges; this essentially could be a ‘double’ bill. We understand the hardship this could cause for some, so customers will have the ability to establish a payment arrangement by speaking with a Customer Service Representative (CSR) to make the request once the next bills arrive. As a reminder, customers are welcome, and we encourage you, to continue making some sort of payment in advance and in anticipation of receiving the reconciled bill following the transition. Delaying bill payments during the transition period will not cause delinquency, late fees or disconnections.

Current payment options are:

By Mail:

City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 (check or money order; include bill stub or name, service address and account number)

By Phone: (Not available on January 30th and 31st)

Call the local office at (254)547-8718 to make payments by phone (credit/debit card)

Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm

In Person: (Not available on January 30th and 31st)

City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A (check, money order, cash, credit/debit card); Suite B (check, money order, credit/debit card – no cash)

Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm

Drop Box Locations:

Utility Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A & B (Suite A has a drop location available inside during business hours; Suite B door has an outside drop location available AFTER business hours)

Police Department, 302 E Ave E (payments may be dropped off inside the facility by handing the sealed payment to a Records Clerk or Communications Operator, available 24 hours)

*(Drop Box payments should be check or money order only; include bill stub or name, service address and account number)

Online:

Customers who previously registered for an online account, or had an account number issued prior to the transition, may now log in and make online payments through the WaterSmart customer payment portal. Please note that until the transition is complete and past account payments are reconciled, the customer balance may not be accurate. See link at: https://copperascovetx.watersmart.com/index.php/welcome

Automatic Draft (ACH):

Coming soon; will be announced once transition is complete.

We are in the initial stages of planning a Town Hall meeting in mid-February, once the transition is complete, to provide further information to our citizens and answer any questions. The date, time, location will be released once finalized.

We sincerely appreciate the patience of our residents as we work through this transition to bring Utilities Administration back as a full-service in-house operation. All information related to this process can be found on the City’s website at: http://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/uati/

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Friday, February 14, 2020: (Update #11)

Copperas Cove, Texas – The City of Copperas Cove and Utilities Administration are pleased to announce the transition process back to an in-house full-service department is almost complete. We continue to be appreciative of the patience of our valued citizens and customers. Utilities Administration and the Finance Department are in the process of reviewing and reconciling customer accounts in support of the upcoming billing process. A letter and FAQ sheet have been prepared and sent to our bill printer for distribution to all customers by mid-next week. Both documents are attached to this release for review as well.

A Utilities Administration Town Hall Meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 6pm at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, located at 1206 W Avenue B. City Manager Ryan Haverlah will provide a brief presentation and update on the transition, which will include a review of utility changes, payment options, and ample time for a public Q&A session. Utilities Administration staff will also be present with necessary resources to provide individual customer account reviews. This event will be streamed via Facebook Live, so we encourage those unable to attend to view on the City’s Facebook Page at:

https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/

We sincerely appreciate the continued support and patience of our residents.

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Friday, March 08, 2020: (Update #12)

Copperas Cove, Texas – The transition process back to an in-house full-service department continues to progress and is almost complete. Utilities Administration and the Finance Department continue to review and reconcile customer accounts in support of the billing process. A letter and FAQ sheet were recently prepared and sent out to all customers; both documents are attached to this release for review as well.

We are in the process of issuing new account numbers for all customer accounts. This process is being done in coordination with the reconciling of all customer accounts to ensure accuracy in billing. Billing Cycles 1–4 have been prepared and distributed, however Cycles 5–7 have been slightly delayed. We are hopeful of distributing these few cycles over the course of the next week. We encourage all customers to review the attached billing cycle map to ensure you are aware of your billing area/cycle. In addition to completing bills for Cycles 5–7, the next round of cycle billings normally sent out in March 2020 are being prepared beginning with Cycle 1. It is possible customers will receive more than one bill in March 2020; however, those bills will be for unique and different billing periods. We understand the hardship this could cause for some, so customers have the ability to request and establish a payment arrangement by speaking with a Customer Service Representative (CSR) in the Utilities Administration Office once your bill(s) arrives.

The City recently heard of a concern that a citizen(s) had received a duplicate bill during this first round of billing. Internal reviews and a discussion with DataProse, our bill printer, confirmed that no duplicate bills were distributed during the new billing process. It is our belief that the customer(s) may have mistaken the customer letter and FAQ sheet envelope as a duplicate bill.

The senior citizen discount still applies to all customers who have previously enrolled, and is reflected on the new bills. It is important to note discounts are reflected in each individual line item, not as a whole sum at the end of the bill. As an example, the standard residential solid waste fee is $19.00; with the 20% discount this would be reflected on the bill as a charge of $15.20 (less the $3.80 discount). And, so goes for the other fees, with exception of the stormwater drainage fee which is not discount eligible. Seniors who may wish to enroll in this benefit are encouraged to stop by Utilities Administration Office to complete the appropriate paperwork.

Future mailed payments must be sent to the City of Copperas Cove, not FATHOM. Please note the mailing address is: City of Copperas Cove, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522. Customers should also ensure any online banking information (bill pay services) is updated to reflect the most current address.

The online customer portal, WaterSmart, may be found at the following link:
https://copperascovetx.watersmart.com/index.php/welcome. Please keep in mind your account information may not yet be updated and accurate until the new account numbers are established within the WaterSmart Portal. While not active yet, the WaterSmart portal will eventually have an ‘autopay’ function available for customers use.

Another Utilities Administration Town Hall Meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 630pm at the Copperas Cove Civic Center, located at 1206 W Avenue B. City Manager Ryan Haverlah will provide a brief presentation and update on the transition, which will include a review of utility changes, payment options, and ample time for a public Q&A session. Utilities Administration staff will also be present with necessary resources to provide individual customer account reviews. This event will be streamed via Facebook Live, so we encourage those unable to attend to view on the City’s Facebook Page at:
https://www.facebook.com/cityofcopperascove/

We sincerely appreciate the continued support and patience of our residents.

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Utilities Administration Transition – Update #13

 Copperas Cove, Texas – The City of Copperas Cove is pleased to report the necessary infrastructure and software changes to bring Utilities Administration back to a full-service in-house department have been largely completed. We continue to fine-tune the services provided to our valued customers and are so appreciative of your continued support and patience.

All new account numbers have been transitioned into the customer portal, and we encourage all customers to create a login for quick and easy account access and management. The customer portal, WaterSmart, can be found by way of a link on the City’s website at: https://copperascovetx.watersmart.com/index.php/welcome. Recent portal updates include current account balance information, PDF of bills and past payment history since March 2020.

Utilities Administration has successfully finished two complete rounds of billing to all customers and the vast majority of catch-up billing and account reconciliation from the transition has been completed. We are now midway through round three of the new billing. Customer billing cycle information can be found in the chart below, and a map with the billing cycle locations can be found on the City’s website at:

http://www.copperascovetx.gov/files/utility_admin/water%20collection%20map.pdf. No late fees or penalties have been assessed to customers since mid-December 2019, nor have any customers been disconnected for non-payment since then. The City’s current plan is to assess late fees and penalties beginning in June 2020 as per City Ordinance. Customers who are delinquent on paying their utility account will have water disconnected beginning in June 2020 unless a payment arrangement has been made. Payment arrangements are available on delinquent accounts by simply contacting Utilities Administration and speaking with a Customer Service Representative (CSR) prior to June 2020.

*Beginning this month all bills are now following the regular billing cycle.

Billing CycleBilling DateBilling Due Date
15th20th
29th 24th
312th 27th
417th 2nd
520th 5th
624th 9th
728th 13th

*Please Note: Cycle 4 bills were recently distributed a few days early to provide customers more time to make payment prior to the due date. The due date however was erroneously changed to May 27th and should have reflected June 2nd, the actual due date. No late fees will be assessed for Cycle 4 bills if paid by June 2nd. All billing cycles will have a static due date (within a day or two) for all future billing cycles.

Current payment methods and additional information can be found on the City’s website at: http://www.copperascovetx.gov/utility_administration/, and includes the following options:

Online:

WaterSmart Customer Portal at http://www.copperascovetx.gov/utility_administration/
The Auto-pay function is pending, and once available will be managed by the customer.
Phone:
Call the local office at (254)547-8718 to make payments by phone (credit/debit card)
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm

Mail:
City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, P.O. Drawer 1419, Copperas Cove, TX 76522 (check or money order; include bill stub or name, service address and account number)

In Person: (Office currently closed due to COVID-19, we will update once reopened)
City of Copperas Cove Utilities Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite A & B (cash, check, credit/debit card, money order)
Hours: 8:00am to 4:30pm

Drop Box Locations:
Utility Administration, 914 S. Main Street, Suite B Door
Police Department, 302 E Ave E (payments may be dropped off inside the facility jail lobby, available 24 hours)
*(Drop Box payments should be check or money order only; include bill stub or name, service address and account number)

Automatic Draft (ACH):
Online bank draft/bill pay option from customer’s financial institution. Ensure all online banking information (bill pay services) is updated to reflect the most current biller address.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR):
Pending

Customer concerns may also be addressed by calling (254)547-8718 or emailing Utilities@copperascovetx.gov. Further information can be found on the City’s website at http://www.copperascovetx.gov/pio/uati. We sincerely appreciate the continued support and patience of our residents. 

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Public Information Officer
Kevin Keller

508 S. 2nd Street
Copperas Cove, TX., 76522
Ph:(254) 547-4221
ext. 6243

Hours of Operation:
Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm