The City of St. Catharines is introducing a payment grace period to support residents and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the implementation of this period, the City has also suspended payment for parking on the street and in municipal lots.
The grace period for payment, which runs until June 30, means late fees and interest penalties will not be applied to water and tax payments, as well as accounts receivables. Water bills continue to be issued across the City as scheduled.
The City has also suspended all water disconnections due to non-payment until the end of the grace period.
“Given the uncertainty and financial impact of this evolving pandemic, we want to provide assurance to our community that we understand their concerns,” said Shelley Chemnitz, chief administrative officer for the City. “No additional late fees will be applied during the grace period and we will not disconnect customers who are in arrears.”
St. Catharines Legal and Clerks Services is also introducing a temporary grace period for its services. No late fees will be charged for business licences and there will be no late fees for those renewing a dog licence. While City Hall remains temporarily closed, residents can still renew their dog licences online through the DocuPet service.
In addition, the City has introduced a series of changes to its parking services. Temporarily, payment will not be required for on-street parking or in municipal parking lots. The goal is to limit the number of people touching the same parking machines throughout the day. Parking enforcement for lack of payment will also be suspended until further notice.
Parking enforcement is currently limited to safety-related issues. Time-limit restrictions have been lifted to help those working from home or self- isolating.
All residential permits that expire while St. Catharines facilities are closed to the public will still be honoured. Any new permits or renewals can be purchased once City Hall reopens to the public on April 6.
Though City Hall is currently closed, residents have several other payment options for property taxes, water bills and parking tickets.
Water and tax payments can be made via online banking through an individual’s personal financial provider, or directly at their bank. Cheques can also be mailed to the City despite the closures. Payments can be made via cheque at the City Hall drop box, located at the James Street entrance. Additionally, the City offers pre-authorized payment for water/wastewater and property taxes.
Individuals who desire to learn more about the methods of payment for water bills and taxes are encouraged to visit www.stcatharines.ca/paymentoptions. Pre-authorized debit agreements are available online at www.stcatharines.ca/preauthorizedpayment. To access the DocuPet service interested individuals can visit www.stcatharines.ca/doglicence.