Town of Essex Update on COVID-19 Response - March 23/20
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
Town of Essex Website
Town of Essex Council hosted a Special Meeting on Monday, March 23 to discuss the Town’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Council supported the following:
- An Emergency Delegation of Authority by-law to provide greater administrative flexibility on financial decision-making, extension to payment deadlines, legal agreements, and facility closures. This emergency delegation of authority would apply while the declared emergency remains in place and Council cannot reasonably be convened for those matters during the pandemic.
- Changes to the procedural by-law to allow for electronic participation in Council meetings during local emergencies. Going forward, Council members will be able to attend via electronic means, such as phone or teleconferencing. This new ability will reduce in-person meetings but will still ensure transparency by providing the public with electronic access to Council’s meetings during the pandemic emergency.
- Waiving penalties and interest for property tax payments up to and including April 30, 2020. Property tax accounts set up on pre-authorized payment plans will continue automatic withdrawals. Property owners requesting to end automatic payments must contact the Town’s Finance division at 519-776-7336 ext. 3050.
- The sending of a letter of support to the Ontario Energy Board, the Premier of Ontario, and the local Member of Provincial Parliament, asking for the elimination of time of use billing for hydro rates throughout the Province.
“Council and I continue to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mayor Larry Snively. “While some of the changes are dramatic, we can assure you they are in the best interests of our community and ensure the continued health and safety of our citizens and staff.”
Mayor Snively continued to urge residents to follow the stay-at-home recommendations of public health officials “It is everyone’s responsibility to do what they can to limit the spread of the virus,” Snively added. “Wash your hands, maintain appropriate distance from each other, but remain calm and remember we are in this together.”