Copperas Cove: Water billing in limbo as city transitions to new vendors

Copperas Cove water customers may not see another water bill for six weeks as the city transitions to new vendors after the company that handled billing went out of business (Photo by Kathleen Serie/file)
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COPPERAS COVE, Texas (KWTX) Copperas Cove and FATHOM, the private company with which the city signed a 15-year contract in May 2016 to replace analog water meters with digital meters and to handle water billing, will officially part ways on Tuesday, but FATHOM ended customer and online payment services last Friday and it could be as long as six weeks before customers again receive bills.

The Copperas Cove City Council voted last week to authorize City Manager Ryan Haverlah to execute agreements with WaterSmart, which will provide the customer portal; Tyler Technologies, which will provide the customer information and billing software; and DataProse, which will print and mail bills.

December bills have been distributed, but after this round of billing, statements won’t go out again for as long as six weeks as the city transitions to the new accounting and billing systems.

The next round of bills will include consumption from the last date meters were read.

“This essentially could be a ‘double bill,’” the city said in a press release Monday.

“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 to make the request once the next bills arrive,” the city said.

Officials say water customers are welcome to make payments in advance.

“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,” the city said.

Payment options

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.