Pearland City Council voted on how to bill residents for the water used during the 2021 freeze at its March 1 meeting. The council agreed on the city’s recommended course of action: to bill residents the lesser of last year’s usage or this year’s usage during February.

Mayor Kevin Cole thanked staff for the quick turnaround on the billing options, he said.

“There’s been a lot of people who are dealing with a lot of headaches with burst pipes and damage, and the last thing they need is a massive water bill that is going to spike them in a couple of months when this thing hits,” Cole said.

Because the city has not caught up with water billing, Council Member Adrian Hernandez and city staff reminded residents that the bill for the water used during the winter storm will go to residents between April and May, depending on what billing cycle customers are in.

The city will also maintain the winter quarterly average, or WQA, from 2020 rather than recalculating a new WQA for December 2020 through February 2021. The WQA determines what residents will be charged for wastewater over the year based on the water used in the winter months, according to past Community Impact Newspaper reporting.

In addition to maintaining the previous WQA, the city will suspend late fees for one billing cycle and suspend shutoff procedures for two billing cycles, according to the city’s agenda documents.