Coronavirus: Guelph extends closure of all city facilities to April 30

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The City of Guelph says it is extending the closure of all city facilities to April 30 in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The closure extension includes recreation centres, libraries, museums, theatres, city hall and the provincial offences court.

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Anyone who registered for city programs and events or booked facilities in April will be given a refund, the city said.

“While we’re taking this day-by-day, we know that this situation is not going to clear itself up by April 6 when we had hoped to reopen facilities,” CAO Scott Stewart said. “Should things improve sooner than expected we’d look to re-open our facilities, but for now we’re playing it safe to protect our community and our employees.”

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The city also announced on Wednesday that waste drop-off will be closed to the general public. Comercial drop-off will remain open to support essential businesses.

The city has also closed all playgrounds, dog parks and the skate park.

All council and planning meetings have been cancelled as well and any emergency meetings will be considered on an ongoing basis.

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A meeting was held on Monday, when councillors approved some fiscal relief measures to help residents and businesses manage the impacts of COVID-19.

Among those measures including waiving parking permit fees and extending free Guelph Transit service into April.

There is also some relief to taxpayers after councillors voted to waive property tax penalties or interest charges that would have been applied in May, waive non-sufficient funds charges through April 30 and stop all progressive collection activities until April 30.

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Businesses and residents will also have the option to defer pre-authorized debit plans for the month of April upon written request of at least ten days prior to the withdrawal date.

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“In times like these, cities rely on property taxes and user fees to meet their financial obligations and ensure we have the financial liquidity to meet the needs of residents and businesses who rely on us in an emergency,” Mayor Cam Guthrie said.

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“Council’s decisions don’t defer property taxes due April 30, but they reflect an honest effort to mitigate the financial impact for families and businesses.”

More information can be found on the city’s website.

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