EAGLE MOUNTAIN — City officials have developed and just began taking applications for an equal payment plan for utility bills in order to help keep residents' budgets in check.

Residents who are in good standing with the city and have lived in their same residence for at least 12 months will be eligible for the program that they are calling Budget Billing.

"In these recessionary times, we wanted to provide an option for our residents that will allow them to plan and budget for their monthly utility payments," Eagle Mountain Mayor Heather Jackson said.

The program will calculate the amount of utilities used over the period of one year and then average them out to give citizens an equal monthly payment through the year. The program helps people budget that cost better than the fluctuation that normally comes in high usage winter and summer months. So residents should expect to pay a little more in the fall and spring months.

Eagle Mountain has its own power and gas departments, which means the one payment will take care of gas, electricity, garbage, water and sewer.

"There had been some people who moved here from other areas that had an opportunity like this before and were asking if the city would ever do that in the future," Eagle Mountain community relations coordinator Linda Peterson said. "We looked into it and thought it was a good option and figured we would implement that."

At the end of the year the bills will be reviewed with usage and any discrepancies will be adjusted on the following year's bill.

The city posted applications for the program on its Web site this week and they will also send out notices in monthly bills within the next few weeks.

It will take two billing periods for those interested to begin and those that decide to quit the program could end up having a credit or an amount owed, depending on the time of the year.

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