MEDIA RELEASE: COVID 19 - Update 5

print-logo March 19, 2020

Municipality of Port Hope COVID – 19 Update #5: Financial Updates

For Immediate Release

Thursday, March 19, 2020 – Port Hope

As the impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to develop, our senior leadership remains responsive to this changing climate to best meet the needs of our staff and the community.

Water and Wastewater Bill due date extension
In order to respond to the financial impacts of COVID-19, the Municipality of Port Hope is extending the water and wastewater bill due date by one month, from April 15 to May 15, 2020. In addition, penalty for non-payment will not be applied until June 1, 2020. Customers can expect to receive their bills by regular mail early next week, which will include a notice explaining these changes.

On Wednesday, March 18, the Federal Government also announced an extension to the filing deadline for income tax until June 1, 2020.

Property Tax due date
The second installment of the interim Property Tax bill is due on April 28, 2020; however, a penalty for non-payment will not be applied until June 1, 2020. Community members on a pre-authorized payment plan who require a deferred payment can email tax@porthope.ca

Transit
Port Hope Transit continues to provide this important service to those who need it our community. We continue monitor and respond to changing conditions and will provide updates as needed.

Effective March 19, 2020 customers are not required to pay or show fare passes to board the bus. This eliminates the personal contact that is required for the physical exchange of fares.

Drivers are monitoring the number of customers who board buses to reduce customer loads, promoting social distancing. The seats directly behind the drivers are not in service.

Reducing the number of people on buses may result in delays, but this measure is essential as the Municipality of Port Hope makes service changes that will help to protect the public and staff.

The vehicles continue to be cleaned and disinfected regularly.

Payments processed for businesses
In an effort to assist our local businesses during this challenging time, the Municipality has expedited the payment process for all invoices that were internally approved and received in the Finance department. This will allow our business partners to be paid quickly during this unsettling financial time.

Caring for our staff
Our staff continue to work their regular hours, where possible. Many of our employees are working from home in an effort to self-isolate and in keeping with the social distancing recommendations set out by the Federal and Provincial governments.

Further, many of our part time employees are working on adjusted schedules, and in some instances, have been redeployed to other departments, in an effort to limit any financial impact on them. The Municipality will be flexible and accommodating for those part time staff wherever possible.

Municipal senior leaders continue to carefully monitor developments on COVID-19, including regular updates from Ontario Health and local health partners. The team is meeting regularly to review business continuity practices and ensure preparedness. Residents can continue to expect regular updates from the Municipality at porthope.ca/COVID-19, as the situation develops.

Some helpful links include:

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For media inquiries, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-885-4544 x2248
kingram@porthope.ca