Keeping the Lights On

On Sunday, March 15, the Mississippi Public Service Commission issued an Order Temporarily Suspending disconnection of Certain Utility Services. This prevents any public utility in the state from disconnecting utility services of water, sewer, gas and electricity for a period of 60 days from March 15.

What this means.

No public utility can turn off any water, sewer, gas or electric service for failure to pay from March 15-May 15.

What this does NOT mean.

This order does NOT mean that bills for water, sewer, gas or electricity services will be forgiven during this period.


“We’re going to evaluate this order at our next meeting on April 14 and will continue to look at options that help citizens and their utility providers work together to make the best of the COVID-19 situation,” said Brandon Presley, MS Northern District Public Service Commissioner. “Make no mistake though, these utility bills will have to be paid, but we’re all going to work together to find solutions.”

If you receive a stimulus check, this funding is for exactly these types of expenses. Stimulus funding is intended to help you recover from lost income and keep the needs of your life in place. You need shelter, food, utilities, transportation, medical services. You do not need a swimming pool or a new TV. 

If and when you are able, one of the best things we can do is pay our bills. Below is information from some of our utility providers in the region.

“If a customer is struggling for whatever the reason, they may call our call center at 888-286-6700 and explain their situation and request to make payment arrangements over a period of time,” said Michelle Whittle, Operations Manager for Atmos Gas Golden Triangle.

 “We do want our members to understand that this is does not mean you will not have to pay your bill. Your billing cycle will remain unchanged and you will continue to receive reminders of amount owed and the due date,” said Brian Clark, CEO and General Manager of 4County Electric Power Association. “We will work with members on payment arrangements as possible. 4-County also offers our Warm Neighbors program which is used to assist members with their electric bill in a one-time, emergency situation. To apply for Warm Neighbors assistance, any 4-County member may contact the Salvation Army Center in Columbus at 662-327-5137.”

“Providing electricity and water to our customers is our most critical mission. The Columbus Utility Board voted a few weeks ago to temporarily suspend late fees and disconnections due to non-payment.  However, Columbus Light and Water is asking those that can, to remain current on their existing bills and those that can’t try to pay as much as you reasonably can.  In the end, Columbus Light and Water will work with you and your business through this hard time,” said Todd Gale, General Manager of Columbus Light and Water.

Our utility providers are ready and willing to help keep the lights on and the fires burning for their customers during this unprecedented time. Contact your local provider for help if you need it. 

It is important for citizens to do what they can, when they can, to support these businesses in return.

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  • This is a very business friendly area and the LINK is an excellent resource staffed with very passionate people that also know their business extremely well and they’re creative. They understand the need for speed and necessity to minimize upfront costs of building or expanding a business. As a result, GTR LINK has been very successful in bringing good manufacturing jobs to the Golden Triangle Region.

    Madhu Ranade

    General Manager and Vice President at Steel Dynamics, Inc., Columbus Flat Roll Division

  • The workforce in Mississippi is exceptional. I’ve hired many veterans that worked in aviation during their military careers and moved back home to the Golden Triangle area. Airbus was able to use their skill sets and put them to work building multi-million dollar aircraft. The training that EMCC offers was so valuable to us, because they enabled our people to be trained in a variety of disciplines. This allowed for some of our people that had no aviation skills to be trained and hired as apprentices and grew our work force development program. People drive up to 75 miles to work for Airbus, demonstrating the work ethic and commitment of the men and women who live in Mississippi. We are very grateful for the caliber of people we are able to work with.

    Rob Boman

    Head of HR, Environment, Health & Safety

  • They’re [GTR LINK] very responsive to companies and their needs for getting questions answers and providing data and resources.

    Alan Easome

    Senior Director, New Plant Development, Yokohama Corporation of North America

  • The Golden Triangle region has offered us a very energetic workforce with a great work ethic. There has been an abundant supply of laborers and skilled candidates, all willing to learn. Through various resources in the area we have always found what we needed and our employees are dedicated to the success of our plant.

    Ray Hamer

    Human Resources Director, Steel Dynamics, Inc., Columbus Flat Roll Division

  • The PACCAR Engine Company continues to enjoy great success in hiring, training, and keeping local talent. From Assembly Operators associates, Machining Operators, to Craft Technicians, we have experienced a positive and dedicated workforce willing to learn new skills. Attracting quality new associates has not been an issue with us, but we face the same nation-wide challenges in finding associates with skilled trades. We are pleased for the results we have achieved by locating our facilities here.

    Mike Arzamendi

    Communication & Training Manager