HP, UP Offer Relief on Utility Bills After Winter Storm

The town of Highland Park and the city of University Park are offering residents a bit of relief on utility bills after the February winter storm.

The Highland Park town council this week approved a $10 credit on water utility bills to offset water use for dripping faucets during the storm, and an exception to the leak adjustment policy to allow for freeze-related leaks in February.

The credit will be included on March water bills and does not apply to irrigation meters.

Highland Park Director of Administrative Services and CFO Steven Alexander said the credit would apply to each of the town’s approximately 3,100 utility accounts, with the exception of irrigation meters. 

Furthermore, the town won’t charge a permit fee or require inspections on minor repairs of water lines that broke during the winter storm.

As far as commercial water problems, town officials added that the Dallas Country Club experienced two leaks — one in an outbuilding where an athletic facility had a sprinkler system burst, and a water line within the main building that ruptured, flooding one of the ballroom/banquet rooms — and a couple of frozen fire sprinklers in Highland Park Village that were shut off and didn’t cause significant damage.

Likewise, water and sewer customers in University Park will receive an automatic $10 “drip adjustment” in an upcoming bill because many tried to prevent pipe damage by dripping water. No action is required by the customer for the drip adjustment. 

Additionally, customers who experienced a sudden loss of water from a broken pipe may apply for a special “leak adjustment” of $20. 

To qualify for this adjustment, customers must provide the city’s Utility Billing Department with a copy of a plumbers repair bill, an invoice, or hardware store receipts. To request a leak adjustment, residents may contact the city’s Utility Billing office by phone at 214-987-5320, email at leakadjust@uptexas.org, or in person.

Finally, because of property damage that may have resulted in emergency repairs, the city is waiving all restorative building permit fees, as well as meter disconnect and reconnect fees. 

If you have questions or need more information, call the Utility Department at 214-987-5320 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at rachel.snyder@peoplenewspapers.com

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