A light outside City Hall in Vernon will indicate when it’s time to enter the building for utility customers and other service seekers amid COVID-19. (City of Vernon)

City of Vernon boosts physical distancing protocol at City Hall amid COVID-19

Higher visitation expected as utility customers prepare to pay Q1 bill

The city has distributed the first quarter utility bills to all Vernon utility customers.

City Hall remains open to the public and cashiers are available to process payments, however the city is encouraging residents pay through their bank if at all possible to reduce in-person transactions and maintain physical distancing amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

If in-person payments can’t be avoided, the city is requesting customers make payments through cheque or Interac to avoid cash handling.

The City of Vernon council has waived interest charges for the first utility billing period to ease the financial burden on citizens and businesses in these unprecedented times. All unpaid balances from the Q4 bill is 2019 are still subject to interest.

In response to an expected increase in people visiting City Hall, extra measures to ensure physical distancing have been implemented to limit the number of people in the reception area of the building.

Until further notice, members of the public are to stand outside the front entrance doors and wait for the yellow light to flash on the traffic-like light put out front. Once the light begins to flash yellow, that’s an indication the next person can proceed inside.

The city has also installed a portable hand-washing station and customers are asked to wash their hands before entering the reception area.

A row of pylons along the north wall of the entrance indicates the proper two-metre distancing people should be taking while waiting.

In case of inclement weather, including extreme heat and rain, tents will be set up to protect the public.

If customers have questions regarding their bill, they are encouraged to call a Utility Clerk at 250-545-1361 or email covutil@vernon.ca.

Amid the pandemic, council and administration are encouraging Vernonites to utilize available online services, telephone calls or emails to contact the City of Vernon.

Online city services include MyCity, eBilling, paying for business licences, municipal tickets, ticket appeal and dispute, business licence searches and address changes.

“We appreciate your assistance with this matter to help keep yourself, our staff and our community safe during the current public health emergency,” the city said in a statement.

READ MORE: Vernon-Monashee MLA’s heart with home province in wake of mass shooting

READ MORE: 4-20 friendly man passes COVID-19 stress relief in Vernon


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