Beginning in October 2011, city of Covington residents were offered the opportunity to “round up” their utility bills each month to the next whole dollar amount. For example, a bill of $98.32 would be rounded up to $99.00, the 68 cents would go into the Round-Up Utility Assistance Fund. This fund was established to help Covington city residents who, under ordinary circumstances are able to pay their utility bills, but because of some type of emergency or unexpected necessary expense, beyond their control, they find themselves in need of financial assistance. Applications are available through the Samaritan Office and are administered by the Outreach Ministries of Covington First United Methodist Church.
Applicants submit documentation of their regular income and expenses and information about their circumstances causing the monetary shortfall. Samaritan Fund interviewers and the Director of Outreach determine if their situation meets the established program criteria. Those who do not meet the criteria are often assisted through the Good Samaritan fund of the church.
Round-Up funds are also used to purchase space heaters and electric fans for distribution in times of extreme hot or cold weather, to assist low income families in lowering their utility bills. Round-Up funds are only available to participating Covington RoundUp utilities patrons.