No Paychecks For Federal Workers? Long Beach To The Rescue

LONG BEACH (CNS) - Cash-strapped federal workers without paychecks due to the government shutdown will get help from the City of Long Beach as required gas, water, sewer and other payments will be postponed without penalty, officials announced today.

Payment postponements will be on a ``one-to-one basis'' and are dependent on the individual, according to Public Affairs Officer Kevin Lee. The city will try to come to an agreement with workers to ``find opportunities to repay when they have cash flow,'' Lee said.

Federal workers will be able to make payment arrangements until the federal government reopens. Lee added that it is unclear how the payment deferments will affect the city's budget as it is uncertain how long the federal government will be shut down. Workers can call (562) 570-5700 for utility services, (562) 570-6822 for parking citations and (562) 570-7600 for billing services for collections, ambulance and false alarms. Utility services include gas, water, refuse, sewer and recycling. In some cases, late fees may be waived.

``The city's call center and billing staff work diligently to assist customers on a regular basis when they are having difficulties paying their bills,'' City Manager Patrick West said. 

``We take pride in offering such a service to community members that experience significant, temporary financial hardship, and are glad we are able to extend this service to federal workers at this time.''

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