COVID-19 Pandemic - City of Safford News, Alerts and Programs
The City of Safford is making every effort to be of assistance to our residents as we continue to be affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. While our ability to provide services has been impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic, particularly by Federal and State guidelines designed to stem the spread of the disease, we continue to work with residents to ensure that we are doing as much as possible to support our community.
Below you will find information regarding changes we have made covering a variety of service areas as well any programs or initiatives designed to offer assistance to local residents.
The impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the response to it from various organizations, is a fluid situation that requires that we continually monitor events and adjust as necessary. We therefore recommend that you visit our website often in order to get the latest information regarding those events and any potential impacts on our community. We also recommend that you visit other websites at the federal, state and local level to stay as informed as possible.
Thank you for your patience during these extraordinary times and stay safe and healthy.
Invest in Safford Business Certificate Program
What Is It?
The City of Safford, the United Way of Graham & Greenlee Counties, and the Safford Downtown Association have partnered together and will provide a $3 subsidy for each ticket sold by a local business. The program will require that each business also contribute $1 to the value of the ticket. This will allow local business to sell the $10 gift certificates to customers for only $6. Once tickets have been sold to a customer (no need to wait until they are redeemed), businesses will be able to return ticket stubs and receive a $3 reimbursement per stub.
See the link below for a list of participating businesses.
• All City facilities have been closed to the public (appointments on a case by case basis)
• City parks are open, but bathrooms and equipment are unavailable – this is due to “distancing guidelines” from the CDC
• The City’s Facebook page will often contain useful information regarding city programs and services, as well as any information from other agencies at the state or federal level
• Public meetings may still occur, but access will be limited due to physical distancing guidelines that discourage gathering of more than 9 people. Public comment will still be accepted, but may require submission, electronically, prior to the meeting.
UTILITY BILLING AND SERVICES
City of Safford has initiated several programs to assist Utility customers.
• For March utility bills, the City waived penalties for customers who were unable to pay by March 20, 2020. The City also automatically extended disconnections for nonpayment two weeks. With Council approval at April 13, 2020 council meeting, this was extended an additional week, allowing customers to avoid disconnection if payment is received by April 20, 2020.
• For April Utility bills, the City provided a 10% discount on all gas and electric bills. The discount was applied to all customers who are currently serviced by City of Safford for gas and electric.
• For May, residential customers will receive a 10% discount on gas and electric bills.
• For May and June, commercial customers will receive a 20% discount on gas, electric, and water bills.
*No action from utility customers is needed to receive the benefits listed above*
Social Security – Late Fee Waiver
In addition to the above benefits, Council also agreed to institute a program that will waive late fees for individuals that receive their social security checks after the 20th of the month, the day utility bill payment is due. Participants will be required to utilize automatic payment to receive the waiver. For more information regarding this program please contact customer service at 928-432-4060.
XPRESS Bill Pay Credit
For utility payments customers are encouraged to utilize Xpress Bill pay (Download the app or click here). We are currently offering a one-time $10 credit until April 30, 2020 to all customers who enroll in automatic payments through Xpress Bill Pay. Simply create an account and choose the option to enroll in auto pay, which will allow you to choose your payment date and will automatically process every month.
Other payment options include:
• Drop boxes: located at City Hall: Envelopes will be provided; please include name, service address or account number and contact phone number
• Payment by mail: City of Safford utilizes a lock box service through Chase Bank, please mail all payments to PO Box 29075, Phoenix, AZ 85038-9075. Include name, account number or service address and contact phone number with your payment
• Wal-Mart Money Center: A small fee of $1 will be applied at time of payment and normally takes 3-5 days for processing (or $1.50 for one day processing), please have your account number to ensure proper processing
• Pay by phone: Call 1-877-420-5861
To avoid disconnection for nonpayment please contact customer service at 928-432-4060. The City of Safford understands our community has been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and we want to help our customers during these difficult times. We are currently offering additional extensions and payment plans.
For all other inquiries related to utility services including connections and disconnections, please contact Customer Service at 928-432-4060 or email us at email@example.com. For faster service please have your account number available.
The Safford Landfill will remain open during their regular hours of operation:
All City Library classes and programs will be canceled until further notice. Starting Wednesday, March 18 patrons will temporarily be able to request books and DVDs for pickup.
All facility rentals will be suspended until further notice.
BUSINESS LICENSE FEE WAIVER
The City of Safford is offering a one-time fee waiver starting May of 2020 and ending June of 2021. All businesses required to have a City of Safford business license will be eligible for a one-time waiver of the fee ($50). However, businesses are still required to renew their license, and submit all required paperwork.
If you need assistance regarding cemetery plots, please call 928-432-4172 to make an appointment.
All restaurants with grease interceptors are required to have them pumped based on a predetermined schedule. Currently, pumping requirements are broken down into 30-day increments ranging from a minimum of 30 days between pumping, to a maximum of 90 days, depending on specifics of the business type and location. Effective immediately, the City of Safford will replace requirements regarding grease trap maintenance, until further notice, with the following: Pumping of grease trap interceptors will be every 90 days. If an issue arises regarding the proper functioning of a device, such as clogging, pumping frequency at the location with be set to 60-day intervals, until normal operation has resumed, at which time the frequency will be reset to 90 days.
CITY COUNCIL MEETINGS
The City of Safford, a government entity providing an essential function, as defined by Executive Order 2020-12, continues to provide services to our community. Further, and in keeping with various guidelines restricting public gatherings of nine or more individuals, the Safford City Council meetings will limit the physical presence of individuals exceeding that number.
We will however be providing remote access to the meetings “via electronic means” and will be allowing for the submission of public comments in advance, which will be read into the record. For detailed instructions, please check current agenda here.
All staff is encouraged to practice social/physical distancing. For information on social/physical distancing, click here.
Our offices may be closed to the public, but we’re still here to help.
For up to date information on our closures and services please visit www.cityofsafford.us.