M.S. 325E.028 UTILITY PAYMENT ARRANGEMENT FOR MILITARY SERVICE PERSONNEL
A municipal utility must not disconnect the utility service of a residential customer if a member of the household has been issued orders into active duty, for deployment, or for a permanent change in duty station during the period of active duty, deployment, or change in duty station if such a residential customer:
- If the residential customer has household income below the state median (submitted after the date military orders are received), or is receiving energy assistance, the customer agrees to pay 10 percent of the customer’s gross monthly income toward the utility bill and remains reasonably current with those payments.
- If the residential customer has a household income above the state median (submitted after the date military orders are received), the customer agrees to a reasonable payment schedule that considers the financial resources of the household and the customer remains reasonably current with payments.
The law provides for income verification, which may be conducted by the local energy assistance provider or the City of Columbia Heights, unless the customer is automatically eligible for protection against disconnection as a recipient of any form of public assistance, including energy assistance, which uses income eligibility standards as stated above.
If you desire to seek the protection provided by this law, you must contact the City of Columbia Heights Utility Billing Department at 763-706-3640 to discuss verification of military status, household income and an appropriate payment schedule. You also may request a written application form to apply for the protection of this law.
The law provides for an appeal process if the utility and the customer are unable to agree on the establishment, reasonableness or modifications of any payment schedule, or on the reasonable timeliness of payments made. If the customer appeals, the law provides that his or her service will not be disconnected during the appeal process.