Electric Meters

The mailing of city utility bills has been delayed due to an issue with the vendor.

City Manager Rochelle Small-Toney told the viewing audience at the start of the City Council regular meeting Monday that due to an issue with the vendor, utility bills are on a delayed mailing schedule.

In the meantime, all utility billing statements that have not been received with an end of October or November due date will not be subject to the imposition of late payment penalties.

Customers may phone 252-972-1250 to ask the amount of the bill and the due date. Customers also may go in person to the Business and Collections Services Center at 224 S. Franklin St. or go online to https://ipn.paymentus.com/rotp/crm to make payments.

Small-Toney did not specify what the issue is with the vendor but she apologized for the inconvenience and said the City of Rocky Mount is working diligently with the vendor to resolve that issue.

This is not the first time there have been problems with utility billing.

The Telegram on Aug. 19, 2020, reported that police were having to fill out incident and offense reports by hand and that the city’s system enabling a customer to pay his or her utility bill online was not functioning.

The municipal Facebook page said customers could use the drive-up service at the Business Services and Collections location of South Franklin and pay bills with cash, check or money order.

The municipality eventually confirmed the disruption was an “unprecedented event” and of having been the victim of a sophisticated cyberattack that involved the encryption of certain municipal systems.

Eventually the municipality called a news conference, which was led by Small-Toney, then-City Finance Director Amy Staton, Mayor Sandy Roberson and then-Police Chief George Robinson.

The public learned that hackers had demanded a ransom payment in Bitcoin digital currency from the municipality in return for a tool to decode computer files for the municipality to regain access to them and for any data possibly taken from the network.

The municipality, based on recommendations from authorities, refused to make such a payment.