The Artesia City Council approved a 60-day moratorium on utility shutoffs during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic during a special meeting Tuesday afternoon.
The vote came nearly a week after an Artesia non-profit Clothed-In Love issued an appeal on Facebook asking for help to pay the utility bills of 23 homes who had their water cutoff after being two months behind on payments.
The total of $3,742.99 and was paid off by West Main Baptist Church in Artesia, who contacted a Clothed-In Love board member, said Jason Kraft, lead pastor at West Main.
“One of our mission leaders saw their story on Facebook and called me to see what I thought about paying the bills,” Kraft said.
“His thoughts were: ‘this is the worst possible time for a family to be without water – of all things – water.’ We want people to be responsible and pay their bills but we also understand that some of us are in a difficult situation.”
Kraft said it was an opportunity for the church to help the community.
“And certainly fit within our vision to do mission work here at home,” he said.
Once contact was initiated, Kraft said a check was delivered to Artesia’s City Hall to pay for the families to have water.
“Above all things, our church would like to show our community the heart of Jesus,” he said.
In a statement, Clothed-In Love thanked the City of Artesia, Miller and the City Council for their concerns for the community “during these difficult times.”
“We appreciate our city officials doing everything in their power to assist locals. We’d like to ask Artesians to return this kindness. If they are able to pay their bill during this time continue to do so. Let’s band together and not see these acts of kindness be taken advantage of,” the statement read.
Read more here.
Source: Mike Smith for Carlsbad Current Argus