Following action taken at the Mason County Board of Commissioners’ special meeting on October 13, both of Mason County’s public utility districts were named subrecipients of Mason County’s federal CARES Act funding allocation. The intent of the agreement is to allow the PUDs to provide direct assistance to households experiencing a COVID-19 related financial hardship by applying funds directly to their utility account.
Mason County PUD No. 1 received just shy of $50,000 in funds to assist Mason County water and electric residential accounts. Mason PUD 3 received $300,000 in funds for residential electric accounts. Customers for both agencies can apply to have funds applied to the utility accounts through this CARES Act allocation if they have experienced financial difficulties because of the pandemic emergency since March 2020.
“The CARES Act was passed with the intent to provide direct relief to American families and now that we are going into winter bill months, we want to encourage all of our customers who are struggling due to the pandemic to help us put these dollars to beneficial use here in Mason County,” stated PUD 3 manager, Annette Creekpaum. “The assistance is not income-based, so nearly anyone with a COVID-related hardship is eligible to receive the funds.”
PUD 3 has a link on their homepage at pud3.org/CARES. Customers can call PUD 3 customer service at (360) 426-8255.
PUD 1 has a link to their application at mason-pud1.org. Customers can call PUD 1 customer service at (360) 877-5249 for further assistance.
“We have heard from some of our customers that it’s difficult for them to accept the help. This pandemic has wreaked havoc on our local economy and a great number of individual households. The money will just be forfeited if we are not able to use it to help our customers’ accounts,” said Kristin Masteller, PUD 1 general manager. “Let’s try to apply every last cent as relief for Mason County ratepayers.”
Funding for both agencies is on a first come, first served basis until the funds are expended or until the funding deadline. Applications for assistance must be completed and returned by each PUD’s deadline: November 10, 2020 for PUD 3 customers and November 20, 2020 for PUD 1 customers.