‘We own the electric company’: San Marcos takes half a million dollar hit, forgives thousands in utility debt

Hays

FILE – This Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 file photo shows power lines in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN)–“It’s like you’re chasing after something that people can’t pay,” Shane Scott, Place 4 San Marcos City Council Member, said.

Scott was the first to bring up the idea–in Tuesday’s City Council meeting–to end the discussion as to how they’re going to deal with rental utility debit in San Marcos. He was candid in proposing to forgive utility debt from 30 days past-due and greater, ahead of the disconnections and late fees possibly resuming August 31.

“Why don’t we just forgive the debt and move on?,” Scott asked his fellow council members. “I’m really kind of tired of talking about it.”

As of Tuesday, August 3, the City of San Marcos had an approximately $1.2 million in unpaid utility bills, with only $697,986 in American Rescue Plan (ARP) federal funding.

“We’re not going to die over that $1.2 million, we own the electric company,” Scott said. “We’ll be fine.”

Scott said the electric company will take the loss for the outstanding debt since the City of San Marcos owns it. Customers won’t have to do anything to make sure the debt is forgiven on their end.

“We went through a really bad time for people, they may never be able to pay this,” Scott said.

This didn’t come without opposition though. Other council members raised concerns about how this would affect the electricity company’s bottom line, and future rates, whether that’d be drastic or not.

Council debating for nearly an hour–before voting on it.

Though cut-offs will officially resume on September 1, customers would have until September 30 before services are turned off.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Austin-Travis County

Tracking the Coronavirus

Coronavirus Cases Tracker

Latest Central Texas COVID-19 Cases

Trending Stories

Don't Miss