The City of Waynesville is considering a proposal that would allow residents voluntarily to round up their utility bill to the next whole dollar amount and donate the money to locals in need.
During the December Waynesville Utility committee meeting Tuesday, the board discussed offering Operation Round Up to its utility customers.
Operation Round Up is a charitable program that is offered by many utility and electric companies across the country. It is designed to provide financial assistance to locals in need of help.
For instance, if a customer's utility bill was 81.64, the customer would volunteer to pay $82 and the additional 36 cents would go to charity. The average cost per voluntary customer would be around 50 cents and an estimated $6 per year.
The resulting funds raised from customers would essentially be given to the Waynesville Community Foundation to assist local organizations.
“The Waynesville Community Foundation would be the charity that would execute Operation Round Up,” Harrill said. “It could help other organizations and people in need. It would serve a variety of needs.”
The Waynesville Community Foundation would accept applications from local organizations and review them on a case-by-case basis for approval
City administrator Bruce Harrill said that it would cost $2,500 to set up the program. Harrill said the money was already in the budget and would not be reimbursed by profits gained through the program.
The committee approved allocating $2,500 to set up the program, but agreed that the city needs more guidelines as to where the money will be designated to before approving the actual program. The committee agreed to bring the final proposal to City Council.
Laclede Electric has used Operation Round Up since 1997. Laclede Electric reports the program raises $10,500 per month in donations every month. After the August flood, Laclede raised $15,000 for flood relief and donated to both the Pulaski County Salvation Army and Good Samaritan of the Ozarks.