COVID-19 update: Business resources, utility bills and cash payments
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in British Columbia continues to be dynamic. The City of Vernon is taking its direction from provincial and federal health authorities and is making changes, as necessary, to adhere to Provincial Health and Ministerial Orders.
Resources for North Okanagan businesses
While local, provincial and federal governments have developed resources and assistance programs for businesses and residents, a cascade of information has been provided from multiple sources. To help pull relevant and timely information and resources together for employers and employees, the City of Vernon has partnered with several North Okanagan municipalities and business organizations to develop #NOKTogether.
The website has streams of curated business resources, as well as additional health resources, news updates and a list of businesses still open in the region. The website also hosts a curated list of virtual meetups - webinars, online training and virtual roundtables. The City thanks each of the partners involved in the #NOKTogether project to help build resiliency in our region as we respond to the impact of COVID-19 on our economy.
Utility bill payments
First quarter utility bills will be going in the mail next week. When customers are ready to pay their bill, the City is encouraging everyone to pay through their financial institution, if possible, rather than paying in-person at City Hall. This will reduce in-person contact and assist with physical distancing measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. If customers have questions about their utility bill, they are encouraged to call one of our Utility Clerks at 250-545-1361 or email email@example.com.
As a reminder, Council has waived interest charges for the first quarterly utility billing period (which runs January to March 2020), to ease the financial burden on citizens and businesses during this difficult time. Normally, the due date for the first quarter bill would be mid-May, after which any unpaid balance 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. Any unpaid balance from the Q4 utility bill in 2019 is still subject to interest.
Cash payments at City facilities
To help reduce touch points in the community, the City is asking customers to avoid cash and coin payments, and instead use options such as cheque, Interac or credit card. We recognize this may not be possible for all customers, but we do strongly encourage the following forms of payment at our facilities:
- City Hall or Community Services Building: cheque or Interac
- Bylaw Office: cheque, Interac, or online with Visa or Mastercard if paying a ticket
- Vernon Regional Airport: cheque, Interac, Visa or Mastercard
We appreciate your assistance to reduce touch points in the community to contain the spread of COVID-19.
As a reminder, if you are sick, have been around someone who is sick, or have returned to Canada within the last 14 days, do not enter a City facility. If you need to speak with a staff member, we encourage you to call or email, using our online directory for contact information.
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