City of Grand Forks looking at ways to relieve utility bill burden amid layoffs

City also increases bylaw patrols as business, pedestrian traffic are reduced

Grand Forks city staff are reviewing the city’s utility and tax billing cycles to see where they can find relief for residents who are forced to delay payments due to unforeseen changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Council are very aware of financial hardships being experienced by business owners and employers during the economic slowdown the COVID-19 pandemic has triggered,” a March 24 statement from the city reads. As such, council has asked staff to review the city’s billing policies. Without any changes, the next utility bill is due April 2. Because property taxes are subject to timelines set out by the provincial government, “Grand Forks will adapt to any deadline adjustments made by the province,” the statement continues.

Operational changes under COVID-19

City Hall, the Fire Hall and the Public Works Yard are all closed to the public. Residents may still contact staff through email and phone, information for which is available on the city’s website.

Security patrols through town will immediately be increased to summer levels, “ensuring that eyes are on activities around town while business presence may be reduced,” the city’s release reads. B.C. has asked that municipalities use their bylaw enforcement resources to assist with ensuring people and businesses comply with provincial health orders.

Coronavirus

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