Kewanee city government and the Kewanee Salvation Army have teamed up to help keep the water on for Kewanee residents impacted by the economy due to the COVID-19 virus.

Last week, the city announced a temporary waiver for late fees and penalties for customers who are unable to pay their water bill.

In a press release, City Manager Gary Bradley stated Kewanee city officials had realized that some residents work in the service industries or other sectors that has caused their income to be reduced.

“We understand that COVID-19 has impacted many of our customers financially and we’re trying to do our part to ease that burden,” he said.

Bradley said city officials don’t want impacted families putting their water bill over household needs. But the city is also asking families and businesses not financially impacted by the virus to make their payments as soon as possible.

For families impacted by the recent mandatory closing of restaurants, bars and schools , and with the most recent “rest in place” order issued last Friday by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the Kewanee Salvation Army offers some help as well.

Service Extension Director Eddie Toliver said donations from the Christmas kettle drive are made for moments like this, and all of the money collected during the holiday season is used to help Kewanee residents.

Every month, about two to seven area households apply to the Salvation Army for help with their water bill. The water bill relief program is part of the organization’s assistance package and is funded by not only the red kettles but also from grants from the Kewanee Area United Way.

Toliver said in order for residents to get help, they need to apply. Necessary documents include a copy of a water bill, personal identification and proof of income. The application also requires residents to list household expenses.

“It’s a lot like a loan application,” said Toliver.

Residents in need of assistance for their water bill can contact the Kewanee Salvation Army at (309)853-4192.