Frequently Asked Questions During the State of Emergency

Wondering what you can and can't do during the declared state of Emergency? Curious what Town operations are still functioning? Need to know who to call with COVID-19 health-related questions? Browse the list of frequently asked questions below, broken out by topic:

Cemeteries

Fires
Clerks/Committee of Adjustment Payment
Closures and Restrictions Town Operations
Council Transit
COVID-19 Health Related Questions Waste
Enforcement  

 

Enforcement

What is the Town enforcing with respect to the emergency order? Who do I call to make a complaint? 

  • Our local municipal law officers and Niagara Regional Police Services are enforcing these closures and restrictions as per the provincial emergency order.
  • Not following these directives may result in significant monetary penalties and fines
    • Failing to comply with an emergency order carries a fine of $750 per offense, and up to $1,000 for obstructing those attempting to carry out their duties under the Act.
  • If you have a concern, contact our bylaw enforcement office at 905-892-2607 x201
  • After 4:30 p.m., please call Niagara Region’s dispatch line at 905-984-3690 or 1-877-552-5579Do not call 911.
  • For all COVID 19 health matters and/or inquiries, please call the Public Health COVID-19 InfoLine at 905-688-8248 or 1-888-505-6074 (press option 7 then follow the prompts).
  • Businesses with questions around the Ontario government’s decision to close non-essential businesses can contact the Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.
Payment

Water/Wastewater Payments

How do I make a Utility Billing payment if the Municipal Office is closed to the public?

  • Through your financial institution, online or telephone banking using your 9 digit account number;
  • By mailing your cheque to Town Hall or dropping it in the drop box located at the back door facing the parking lot and Peace Park; or
  • By enrolling in the pre-authorized payment plan, which will automatically withdraw your utility bill payments on the due date.

How do I enrol in the preauthorized payment plan for Utility Billing?

To enrol please fill out the form at www.pelham.ca/utilityPAP  to review the terms and conditions and fill out the application.  Ensure you attach a picture of your void cheque or pre-authorized debit form. Please submit your application no later than May 22, 2020 for the May 29, 2020 due date.

Property Tax Payments

How can I pay my property taxes?

Taxes can be paid through your financial institution (online or telephone banking) using the full 19 digit roll number shown on the tax bill, including 0000 but excluding the spaces and decimal place. Payment can also be made by cheque placed in the drop box outside of Town Hall or sent by regular mail. For your convenience preauthorized payment plans are also available.

How can I avoid penalty charges?

All payments must be received in the office by 4:30 pm on the payment due date. The best way to ensure on-time payments and avoid late charges is to enrol in one of the preauthorized payment plans. Payments made at a financial institution including online or telephone banking must be paid in sufficient time prior to the tax due date to allow time for the bank to forward the payment to the Town. Penalties will be applied on the first day of default and on the first day of each month until paid. Small balance arrears could be a result of a late payment.

What is the benefit to enrolling in a preauthorized payment plan?

It allows you to spread your payments out over 10 or 12 months interest and penalty free, versus paying your taxes on the four installment due dates (February, April, June and September). For example if your taxes are $4,500 per year, the monthly amount would be approximately $375 per month on a 12 month plan rather than $1,125 per installment. Please note preauthorized payment plans are recalculated in January and June of each year, to reflect the annual changes in assessed value and tax rate.  

How can I enrol in a pre-authorized payment plan?

The Town of Pelham offers five different pre-authorized payment (PAP) options that allow you to spread payments over 10 or 12 months. To enroll in a pre-authorized payment plan please visit www.pelham.ca/taxPAP  to review the terms and conditions and complete the application form.

Council

Where can I find meeting dates and agendas? 

Council meeting dates and agendas are available on the Council Calendar. Please note that Committee meetings have been suspended for the duration of the pandemic.

It is legal for Council to meet electronically?

New Provincial legislation allows municipalities to hold electronic meetings in place of regular council meetings as all levels of government move to slow the spread of the virus. It is critical for the Town to move forward with important services that affect our residents and businesses.

Protecting public health must be our top priority at this time, so holding electronic meetings eliminates the need for councillors and residents to leave their homes to participate.

How can I make a delegation if it’s an electronic meeting?

Physical delegations to Council are not available at this time, however, the Office of the Town Clerk remains committed to ensuring residents' voices are heard. If you wish to speak to Council as a delegate as the topic is related to corporate business please submit a delegation form and all other required documents / speaking notes to the Clerk by e-mail to NJBozzato@pelham.ca by 12:00 noon (8 or 14) days prior to the scheduled Council meeting. Please note, at this time the Town is only accepting urgent time sensitive delegations. Residents are also welcome to submit correspondence to the Mayor and Council, through the Office of the Town Clerk.

Where can I view Council meetings? 

Although Council meetings are open to the public, all Town facilities are closed to the public as a precautionary measure relating to the COVID-19 event. The Town of Pelham is committed to being accountable to the public, so the following options are available to view the meetings:

  1. Residents can watch the Council and Committee meetings live on our YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/townofpelham/live 
  2. The meetings are recorded and available on the Town of Pelham website within 24 hours of the meeting.
Clerks/ Committee of Adjustment

Can I obtain a marriage license?

At this time, the issuance of marriage licenses is temporarily suspended.

Can I have a document commissioned?

The service of the Commissioner of Oaths is temporarily unavailable. 

Are Committee of Adjustment Applications Being Heard?

Currently all Town of Pelham Committee of Adjustment hearings have been postponed.  Town staff are currently working towards being able to hear applications in an electronic format which allows fulsome public participation.

Can I Submit a Committee of Adjustment Application?

Currently the Town of Pelham is accepting Committee of Adjustment applications submitted both electronically and a physically by mail or drop box.  Although Town staff will start processing your application we are unable to schedule a hearing date for your application. The Town will notify you once hearings are being scheduled to arrange an appropriate hearing date for your application. 

Town Operations What type of services will be delivered?

Water/Wastewater Operations  

  • Works related to water quality and emergency repairs/maintenance
  • Includes; Water Testing, Pressure Monitoring, System Flushing, Sewer Flushing, Regular Maintenance
  • Meter Repairs are not being undertaken at this time

Transportation System Maintenance

  • Works related to the Minimum Maintenance Standards O. Reg. 239/02: MINIMUM MAINTENANCE STANDARDS FOR MUNICIPAL HIGHWAYS under Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25
  • Includes; Road Patrolling, Pot Hole Repair, Regulatory Sign Repair, Sidewalk Patrols (to be scheduled), Sidewalk repair, Rural Brush cutting, Catch basin/Storm sewer repair, Debris Clean up
  • New Culvert installations & boulevard repairs are on hold

Beautification

  • Parks work includes; Parks inspection, Parks refuse container maintenance, Reduced parks and green space mowing and grounds maintenance
  • Forestry work includes; Emergency tree and limb removals, Tree inspections, Trail inspections and maintenance, branch and limb cleanup. **Aesthetic Tree Pruning is not being undertaken at this time
  • Horticulture; Planting bed mulching and reduced maintenance, Hanging baskets. **Planting of flower beds are currently on hold
  • Cemetery Operations; Reduced mowing schedule and planting beds and pruning of shrubs is on hold. Cemeteries are closed during funerals as per ministry guidance.

What is the Town doing to reduce the risk to Town Operations staff?

The town has split the operations department into 2 shifts working alternate days – 6 days a week and operating 10 hour shifts. Vehicles are restricted to 1 staff member at a time and are thoroughly disinfected and the beginning and end of every shift. Operations services have been reduced to the core duties with lower levels of service to accommodate a reduced staff compliment due to the split shift as well as keeping staff isolated from the public. The Operations Centre Office has been disinfected once by professional cleaners, the high traffic/touch points within the office & staff area is cleaned 3 times a day, and receives extra cleaning on Sunday before the Monday Shift. Hand cleaning and sanitizing materials and stations have been increased.

Why is the Town cutting grass and maintaining sports fields? Aren't they closed? 

The Town will cut grass and maintain sports fields at a reduced level of service so that we are able to set ourselves up for the best ability to recover when 'normality' returns. Cutting grass in parks and sports fields allows the Town to control weeds, overgrowth and ticks. It also ensures that the Town doesn’t incur additional costs to try and bring fields or parks back to appropriate standards. Our new service level will be to maintain grass at a maximum height of 6”. Sports fields are normally maintained at 3”.

Why are contractors continuing to work on Town Construction Projects? 

Only projects that have been deemed essential have been allowed to continue. These are large road reconstruction projects that began before the pandemic and also had a Water Main replacement component. 

Cemeteries Can I visit the Fonthill and/or Hillside Cemetery? 

Cemeteries may be visited but are closed during funerals. Social distancing is required.

What is happening to protect people at funerals? 

The province has directed no more than 10 attendees can participate in a funeral service. There is no contact permitted between funeral staff, mourners and cemetery staff, including pallbearers. 

Closures and Restrictions 

Are Town parks and trails open?

All outdoor recreational amenities are closed. Includes all playgrounds (schools and municipal), sports fields, off-leash dog parks, picnic areas and other such spaces. This also includes parking lots.

Trails and parks are open for walking but social distancing must be practiced at all times. Congregating in groups is not permitted. This, however, is subject to change. 

Why are Town facilities and some amenities closed?

Closure is one of several steps we are taking to protect the health of our staff and community. Closing our facilities further limits the public spaces individuals can gather, interact in close proximity and possibly spread COVID-19.

What does the state of emergency mean?

The Town of Pelham is in a State of Emergency. This means that our day-to-day life has been severely altered. The Town, along with the region, province, and all Canadians, ask that we do our part to help flatten the curve and eliminate the spread of COVID-19. 

As per our public health officials, we are at a critical stage in fighting COVID-19, and the best thing we can do is stay home. We all need to continue to do our part as physical distancing and isolation become increasingly important.

COVID-19 Health Related Questions

Where can I get Public Health Advise?

Health-related questions or advice can to be directed to Niagara Region's Public Health hotline at 905.688.8248 or visit niagararegion.ca/covid19

Fires

Is the Town part of the Ontario burn ban? Can I have a fire? Can I burn brush?

The burn ban is in the northern MNR area, this is an annual ban they put on it does not affect the southern part of the province. People can have a fire as long as they have a permit and follow the rules of the bylaw. Yes, a permit is not required to burn brush. However, prior to burning brush, the Fire department must be notified. For more information, please visit: https://www.pelham.ca/en/living-here/open-air-burning.aspx

What qualifies as a cooking fire?

Any contained fire device such as a pit, grill, etc. which is used to cook food.

What are the penalties?

Penalties vary depending on the offense. Fines range from $250 - $2000. 

Transit Where can I find information on the routes and schedules?

Pelham Transit will operate as a Dial-a-Ride service until further notice. Dial-a-ride service is available 7 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. The Town of Pelham encourages all residents to stay home, however, if riders need to get to medical appointments, places of employment, or the grocery store, Pelham Transit is available. All rides are to be booked with at least 48 hour notice. If booking a ride for Mondays or Tuesdays, please call the Friday before.

For more information on the Dial-a-Ride service, please click here.

Waste

Who do I contact about my recycling, yard waste, organics and waste pickup or concerns?

Waste management (waste, recycling and organics) is a service provided by Niagara Region. You are best to seek support from them on this one. They have a Facebook page, or you can find more info and reach out to them via their website https://niagararegion.ca/waste/.

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