As Orillia continues into the third phase of Ontario’s reopening strategy amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, it’s extending free transit until the end of August, while its waiving of property tax penalties and interest will expire on July 31.
“In March, Orillia council established a community assistance program to help residents and businesses cope with the impact of the pandemic,” Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke said in a statement.
“Many of the assistance measures were extended several times as the emergency management committee adapted its response to COVID-19.
“Now that we are in a stage where the majority of businesses can reopen and people are returning to work, some of these assistance measures will begin to expire.”
Orillia’s waiving of property tax penalties and interest rates, as well as non-sufficient funds charges, expires beginning July 31.
Clarke said the financial impact of the coronavirus on the City of Orillia is in the millions, and in order to be financially responsible, the municipality has to start re-introducing fees.
Meanwhile, Orillia Transit pass holders who bought a monthly transit pass for April, May and June can now redeem the passes for September, October and November.
Starting Sept. 1, transit riders must present a valid pass for the appropriate month in order to board the bus.
Transit pass exchanges can be done at the Orillia City Centre by appointment between August 1 and Sept. 30.
Other community assistance measures that are still in place in Orillia include waiving the 2020 water and sewer penalty and interest until Sept. 30, suspending all water shut-offs due to non-payment of water bills until Sept. 30, as well as deferring the implementation of the municipal accommodation tax to Sept. 1.