Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney

Holli Stephens / KYW Newsradio, file

Kenney pledges city relief to federal workers affected by shutdown

January 21, 2019 - 2:48 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- On Monday, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney announced that City departments and agencies will be offering flexibility in bill payments to federal employees impacted by the partial government shutdown.

In a statement, Kenney says tens of thousands of federal employees live and work in the City of Philadelphia, and some are already struggling.

“Martin Luther King Jr. understood that the civil rights movement and the drive for workers’ rights are forever intertwined. On this day honoring his legacy, I pledge that the City will do its best to ensure that these workers don’t have to worry about matters like paying their water or gas bills while they are going without a paycheck,” he said.

READ: Shutdown goes on as Trump offer doesn't budge Democrats

The city says furloughed workers or employees working without pay that need flexibility in paying their bills are urged to contact the Water Department and Philadelphia Gas Works.

“If you reach out to us, we can delay enforcement actions, including water shut off and foreclosure,” said Revenue Commissioner Frank Breslin.  “We can also waive interest, penalties, and any other charges that accrue once we receive payment when the shutdown ends. These workers need every break as the shutdown drags on, and we’re committed to doing what we can.”

The city also says that impacted federal employees can also take advantage of PGW’s assistance programs like, Payment Arrangements, Budget Billing, and CARES. 

“Options like these can make all the difference,” said PGW President and CEO Craig White. “Our goal is always to work with customers and give them as much support as we can, in order to keep their vital natural gas service on. Whether the need is temporary or ongoing, our experienced team is used to working with customers who are in tough financial situations.”

READ: For the poor, the safety net in a shutdown doesn't feel safe

Affected workers who need help should call or email the addresses and numbers below, and identify yourself as federal worker. You may need to provide proof of federal employment, such as a W2, federal employee ID, or other documentation.

For Water & Sewer Bills: wrbhelpdesk@phila.gov or (215) 685-6300

For Gas Bills: @MyPGW on twitter, 215-235-1000 or find your nearest PGW customer center at pgworks.com/residential/contact-us/our-locations

For Real Estate Tax: revenue@phila.gov or (215) 686-6442

For all other City Taxes: revenue@phila.gov or (215) 686-6400

Federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay will also be eligible for consideration when paying tickets to the City. 

The Bureau of Administrative Adjudication (parking tickets) and the Office of Administrative Review (code violation notices) urge federal workers who face difficulty paying tickets or fines to schedule a hearing as specified on the ticket. 

Hearing officers have the discretion to offer relief to hardships by extending payment deadlines. Staff of both offices have been urged to exercise particular consideration for federal employees.