COVID-19 update: Council implements changes to ease financial burden on citizens and businesses

April 1, 2020
News

At its Special Regular Meeting of March 31, City Council voted to implement changes to ease the financial burden on citizens and businesses during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

First quarter utility bill payments

Council has waived all interest charges for the first quarterly utility billing period (which runs January to March 2020).  Utility bills for this period will be mailed by mid-April.

Normally, the due date for the first quarter bill would be mid-May, after which any unpaid balances would be subject to interest charges. However, the waiving of interest charges for this period will provide more time for customers to pay their bill if they need it.   

Citizens should be aware that any unpaid balances from the 2019 fourth quarter bills (October - December billing period) that were due on February 18, 2020, will be subject to interest.

Metered and two-hour parking

Effective immediately, bylaw enforcement of on-street metered and two-hour parking zones has been suspended, with the exception of enforcement related to safety issues.

The temporary change is intended to support businesses and encourage people to use the Downtown and access businesses that remain open.

Council will revisit this decision at its April 27 Regular Meeting. 

In addition to the changes made by Council, the following information is being provided to assist residents while navigating the impact of COVID-19, providing ways to conduct business online and reduce high touch points in the community.

Online City services

City Hall remains open to the public at this time, but to help ‘flatten the curve’ and protect the health and safety of our citizens and employees, Council and Administration are encouraging residents to use online services, telephone calls, or email to contact City staff whenever possible.

City services available through our website include:

Payment options

Online payments may be made through your financial institution for the following City bills:

  • Utility bill
  • Property taxes

If you have questions about how to set up these payments, please contact your bank.

Other payment options include:

  • Dropping off a payment at the drop box located at the City Hall main entrance doors
  • Mailing your payment to City Hall (3400 30 Street, Vernon, BC V1T 5E6)

Automated pedestrian crossings

Several intersections in the downtown core have been updated so pedestrians no longer have to press a button to activate the walk signal. Today, two more high-use intersections have been added to the list, including:  

  • 25 Avenue and 34 Street
  • 30 Avenue and Alexis Park Drive

Signs have been posted at the upgraded intersections to let pedestrians know they no longer need to press the button. Please remember to wait for the walk signal before crossing the street.

The City will continue providing updates on its response to COVID-19 as they become available. For the most recent information on COVID-19 in British Columbia, visit the Province of British Columbia website or download the new COVID-19 BC Support App.