The owners of Breakfast at Stephanie's - formerly Cinnamon's - blame their closure on the city for not working with them on delinquent utility bills even though the governing body extended deadlines and set up a payment plan.
A local restaurant told customers in a note taped to their door that they are closed temporarily due to the Augusta Utility office failing to work with them.
Breakfast at Stephanie’s – formerly Cinnamon’s – posted the note after owner Steve Compton attended a City Council meeting on October 7 and received a special payment plan to allow the restaurant to catch up on delinquent utility payments.
With more than $2,500 in back charges and another bill coming due soon, Compton asked the council for 15 days to get the money necessary to make good on the bills.
The governing body voted to allow the owners to pay $1,300 on October 22, the rest of the bill on October 31 and then stay current on charges.
At the meeting, Compton told the council that the city staff had worked to help his business as much as policy would allow them to. That is why he came to the council.
On Thursday morning, a note was posted on the door that said in part, “We are Temporarily Closed Until Further Notice Due To Augusta Utility Office Not Willing to Work With Us Regarding With Setting-up Payment Plan For Our Last Month Past Due Utility Bill.”
Mayor Kristey Williams said the situation was unfortunate but the council extended leniency beyond the city’s current policy in an effort to help. The deadlines set at that meeting were not met.
The note ended with a plea for support and help and listed a phone number for those interested in helping to call.