Town answers tax payment and other questions

Since closing its facilities to the public on March 13 in a bid to help the spread of COVID-19, the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville has been fielding questions from residents and business owners on everything from recreation and program refunds to bill payments.

It has compiled a list of the topics of most concern, along with information that may help you during the shutdown, which is currently scheduled to remain in effect through April 14.

Recreation refunds, including fitness and aquatics. The duration the Leisure Centre is closed will be added to your existing membership. Refunds are being issued for monthly memberships. Contact the Leisure Centre at 905-642-7529 for more information.

Program refunds, including camps. Registration for spring programs has been suspended and if the 10-week schedule is reduced, you can request a refund or apply the difference towards your account for later use. Cancellations and refunds for all March Break programs are being processed. Call the Leisure Centre at 905-642-7529 for more details.

Facility rentals. All facility rentals have been cancelled and refunds are being processed. No new permits will be processed during the shutdown.

Bylaw inquiries. Any questions regarding municipal bylaws should be made by phone at 905-640-1910, ext. 2229 or 905-640-1900 or by email through www.townofws.ca. Bylaw officers will review all complaints and decide if it’s safe to attend a particular property and/or meet with property owners. Parking bylaws will continue to be enforced.

Animal Services will respond to calls on a case-by-case basis and the shelter will close its doors to the public once it reaches capacity. Residents are encouraged to be extra diligent in ensuring their pets are not at large. If your dog doesn’t yet have a tag, you’re advised to purchase one at www.townofws.ca/dogtags so he can be more quickly returned to you in the event he goes missing and is located by Animal Services.

Safe operations of roads, infrastructure. An on-call operator is available through the Town’s after-hour service at 905-640-1900. Down stop signs, flooding and trees that have fallen across roads and/or sidewalks will be addressed immediately. Other road activities, such as tree trimming and pothole patching, will continue, along with winter maintenance as needed.

Water quality sampling will continue and water/wastewater emergencies such as breaks and backups will be dealt with immediately. Water/wastewater operators won’t enter private homes but will investigate municipal infrastructure and advise residents to contact a private plumber for internal investigations. Routine water/wastewater activities will continue. Contact Customer Service at 905-640-1900 for additional information.

Tax payment, water billing. The next tax due date remains April 17 and overdue notices from previous installments have been mailed. The next water due date remains April 27 and bills will be mailed on April 6. Payments can be made through the Town’s pre-authorized payment plan, with registration for those next due dates both extended to April 9.

You can also make payments at your bank or on your bank’s website or mobile app and postdated cheques can be dropped off at the Town Hall drop-box. Visit www.townofws.ca/en/residents/paying-your-property-tax-bill.aspx, www.townofws.ca/en/residents/water-and-sewer-billing.aspx or call Customer Service at 905-640-1900 to learn more.

Water meter installations. Neptune Technologies will continue to fulfill resident-scheduled appointments but may reduce installations in the foreseeable future. Technicians won’t complete work if residents at the worksite appear to be ill and won’t request signatures or collect comment cards. Call Customer Service at 905-640-1900 for more information.

Development services, including building. The Town continues to accept building and planning applications. You can drop non-confidential plans and relevant information in the drop-box at Town Hall. All meetings with external clients will be converted to conference calls. The Town will continue to schedule and conduct building and engineering inspections.

Waste collection. Solid waste collection and recycling will continue as scheduled. Inquiries should be directed to Green For Life Customer Service at 1-866-421-5625.

Emergency services. Whitchurch-Stouffville Fire & Emergency Services will continue to provide emergency services. All public education events, including school visits and station tours, and all non-essential fire prevention activities are cancelled. The Fire Prevention Division will continue to answer requests and/or complaints involving immediate threat to life. Burn permits remain available on the Town’s website. Fire Station 5-1 and Fire Station 5-2 are closed to the public.

Visit the Town’s COVID-19 webpage at www.townofws.ca/COVID19 or call Customer Service at 905-640-1900 if you require any additional information.

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