Be the end of August, 2019, 40 out of 86 Alabama Power business offices will be closed. Among the payment center offices on the closure list is the West Blocton location.

According to Alabama Power, the decision came as a result of most people choosing to pay their bill online due to convenience. ABC 33/40 reported:

Spokeswoman Keisa Sharpe says it’s because more customers are able to pay their bill on their phone or computer without ever leaving the house.

It’s about convenience for the customer, according to Sharpe.

Through emails, she told ABC 33/40 more people like paying online than in-person.

Here’s the statement from the company:”To more effectively serve our customers’ evolving needs, we are better positioning our operations by combining selected business offices and appliance centers across our service territory. Here’s what we can tell you. This will be an ongoing process and our intent is to place affected employees in positions. We are providing employees as many options as possible to manage their careers. Examples include re-positioning to other offices and new opportunities where they can use their skill sets or gain additional experience.”

If you prefer to pay your bill in person, you will still be able to find locations available, including in Dollar General, Walmart, and other Alabama Power offices not affected by the closings.

The Bibb Voice reached out to West Blocton mayor Daniel Sims for comment, who had this to say:

“This closing will have a major impact on our small town community from several different stand points. The most immediate impact will be on our citizens and local businesses. Citizens who are used to walking into the local office and having the luxury of having a face to face conversation when they have questions regarding their bill will no longer be afforded that option. Local stores will feel some impact of not seeing the employees who would visit their establishments on a daily basis.

The larger and more long term effect will be in the Towns operating funds. Alabama Power has been one of the largest contributor to our gross revenue for many years. We will be losing approximately $60k to $65k annually from this closing from our general fund and approximately an additional $5k toward the police acct revenue. Our town is already financially restricted, this closing will cause us to revisit the budget and overlook all expected expenses with a shaper pencil.

We don’t like the news of closing the local office,but understand Alabama Power’s business practice. We are so thankful for time here in West Blocton and all of the support they have showed and hope to continue with the kids, parks, schools, and more, for many years to come.”