COVID-19 - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What Town facilities are closed to the public?
- Town Hall
- Gibson Operations Centre
- Fire Halls
- Leisureplex Arena and Banquet Hall
- Crystal Ridge Arena and Community Centre
- Fort Erie Historical Museum
- Railway Museum
- Economic Development and Tourism Services Office on Garrison Road
- Fort Erie Public Library (All Branches)
How do I get in touch with someone during the closure period?
While Town facilities will be closed to the public, residents can still access Town services online, or contact Town representatives at www.contactus.forterie.ca or 905-871-1600, Monday to Friday, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Alternative options for those needing to make a payment can be found at www.forterie.ca/Due Dates & Payment Options.
Town Hall has a 24-hour drop-off box that is conveniently located in the parking lot of the main entrance. Alternatively, mail can be sent to 1 Municipal Centre Drive, Fort Erie ON L2A 2S6. If you are arriving with a delivery at either Town Hall or the Gibson Operations Centre, please use the buzzer and someone will assist you.
Due Dates & Payment Options during COVID-19
Will my Tax PAP payment be withdrawn from my bank account?
- For accounts enrolled in the 10 month tax payment plan - bank withdrawals will continue as scheduled either on the 15th or last business day of the month.
- For accounts enrolled in the tax installment due date plan with next due date being April 30th bank withdrawals will continue as scheduled.
- April 30th postdated cheques being held at Town Hall for tax payments will be processed on that date.
- Any questions concerning the above please call Town of Fort Erie at 905-871-1600 during business hours
Will my Water PAP payment be withdrawn from my bank account?
- Water bills will continue to be billed on a monthly basis
- For accounts enrolled in the water PAP plan the bank withdrawal date will remain as scheduled on the 3rd business day of each month
- Any questions concerning the above please call Town of Fort Erie at 905-871-1600 during business hours
What late fees, penalties, and fees and charges, are waived effective March 23, 2020 until June 30, 2020?
- Penalties for non-payment or late payment of taxes levied and charged in 2020;
- Penalties for non-payment or late payment of water and wastewater rates billed in 2020;
- Late fees for business licences applications and renewals;
- Charges for any cheques or pre-authorized payments (PAP) returned for non-sufficient funds (NSF) or payments stopped by the payor;
- Payment for on-street parking or in a municipal parking lot,
- Water services shall not be disconnected by the Town of Fort Erie for non-payment of water and wastewater billings until June 30th, 2020.
We are continuously reviewing properties. You may have received a Notice for one of the following reasons:
- change to property ownership, legal description, or school support;
- change to the property’s value resulting from a Request for Reconsideration, an Assessment Review Board decision, or ongoing property reviews;
- property value increase/decrease reflecting a change to the property; for example, a new structure, addition, or removal of an old structure; or
- change in the classification or tax liability of the property.
Your 2020 Property Assessment Notice shows the assessed value of your property based on a January 1, 2016 valuation date and will be the basis for your property taxes for the 2021 property tax year.
The valuation date, established by the Ontario government, is a fixed day to which all properties are valued. In simple terms, the value is the price your property might reasonably have sold for in its current state and condition on January 1, 2016.
Will critical services be impacted?
All critical services, including water and wastewater as well as fire services will continue to operate to support our community. For after-hours services, including road or wastewater operations, please call 905-871-1600. For emergency assistance from fire services please call 911.
I think my home water meter is broken.
We will not be doing water quality site visits inside the home at this time. This includes in-home water meter repairs and in-home extraneous flow inspections.
Is garbage and recycling still being collected?
Waste management is a regional government responsibility. While garbage and recycling is still being collected, the Region has made some temporary changes. To learn more, please visit: https://niagararegion.ca/news/article.aspx?news=1044&t=Niagara+Region+making+temporary+changes+to+waste+collection+due+to+COVID-19
Is municipal by-law enforcement still in effect?
Yes. However, it has been reduced to fire lanes, hydrants and handicapped parking infractions.
What about council meetings?
The April 14th Council-in-Committee meeting has been cancelled. The Regular Council meeting scheduled on April 20th will still go ahead. Please tune in via our You Tube page to watch the meeting live at https://www.youtube.com/townofforterie . Council will be conducting the meeting via web-conferencing during this time.
Other future meetings may be cancelled depending on the status of COVID-19. The Town streams all council meetings live on our YouTube Channel. Alternatively, council meetings are available the following Saturday at 9 a.m. on YourTV Niagara. For agendas, reports, budget packages, and links to view meetings online, visit www.forterie.ca/pages/CouncilAgendasandMinutes.
What about public meetings and open houses?
Please be advised that the following open houses have been cancelled:
March 17, 2020: Proposed Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment for 80-84 and 94 Jarvis Street (open house)
March 23, 2020: Proposed Zoning By-law Amendment at 0 Townline (public meeting)
The Town of Fort Erie will issue a future notice advising of the rescheduled Open House and Public Meeting dates.
Are the buses running?
Fort Erie Transit is operating all routes as per the normal schedule, which includes Fort Erie Transit municipal routes, FAST and the inter-municipal routes. For a complete schedule, visit www.fetransit.ca. If there are any changes in the provision of these services, a notification will be posted on www.fetransit.ca.
What is being done at parks and playgrounds?
Parks will be monitored periodically.
Surfaces at parks such as playground structures, benches, tables, waste receptacles, park gates and handrails are not being sanitized.
Park visitors are strongly encouraged to practice personal safety protection measures as published by Public Health. Parents and caregivers are also strongly encouraged to supervise and enforce personal safety protection measures for children under their care.
All of Fort Erie's playgrounds, multi-use courts and beaches have been closed at this time and signs placed at all parks indicating this closure.
The following playgrounds have also been fenced off:
- AC Douglas Park 1
- Albert Street Park
- Bay Beach
- Bill Connelly Field
- Bowen Road Park
- Crystal Beach Waterfront Park
- Crystal Ridge Park
- Douglas Park
- Energy Field
- Ferndale Park
- Goderich Street Park
- Lion's Sugarbowl Park
- Madelaine Faiazza Memorial Park
- Optimist Park
- Ott Road Park
- Ridgeway Lions Field
- Stevensville Memorial Park
- Stevensville Mini Park
- Waterfront park
How do I submit tenders, RFPs and Pre-qualification submissions?
For Tenders, RFPs and Pre-Qualifications that are to be submitted in person during this closure, please come to the front door of the Town Hall and press a buzzer. Once you advise that you are there to submit a bid document, someone will come to the door to receive your bid. Public openings of tenders will be conducted via teleconference. Please monitor Biddingo for your respective bids for calling information. Alternatively, results will be posted to the Biddingo website shortly thereafter. Please direct any questions regarding this procedure to Randi Martins, Manager of Procurement at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are building permits being handled?
The Planning and Development Services department is continuing to process building permit applications and arranging inspections. Any new building permits, drawings and associated building permit fees can be dropped off at Town Hall by ringing the bell on the front outside door or in the overnight drop off box.
What about Large Drawing and Application Submissions?
Large drawings and applications can also be sent by email to email@example.com. Please keep in mind, that although we will accept the drawings and applications by email, building permits must have the associated fee before they will be processed and can be sent via mail, courier or placed in the overnight drop box. For the digital application for a building permit, please visit: https://www.forterie.ca/WebSite/webTOFE.nsf/contentPage.xsp?documentId=AE4BFF9BB878112285257DF1005C70A9&action=openDocument
How are building inspections being conducted?
For building inspections, we ask that the inspector attend the site alone and if necessary the inspector can call the specific tradesperson or the site supervisor to address any concerns. Inspection reports will continue to be emailed to the appropriate people and if there are any concerns please contact the inspector directly. Building inspections can also be scheduled by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
How are planning applications being handled?
For planning applications staff will accept applications via email at email@example.com and cheques can be dropped off as described above. All applications will be processed as far into the process as we can but please keep in mind we cannot hold open houses, public meetings or Committee meetings until the COVID-19 emergency has subsided. We apologize for any delay but our hope is that these applications submitted during this time will be ready to go once we are advised meetings can be held again.
Planning applications can be found here: https://www.forterie.ca/WebSite/webTOFE.nsf/contentPage.xsp?documentId=0A3B3CF4E40252A8852575830049D5E7&action=openDocument%C2%A0
What about pre-consultation applications?
For pre-consultation applications we will continue to accept applications and payment online at the following link: https://www.forterie.ca/resource/eservicesPlanPC.xsp
Pre-consultation meetings continue to be held via teleconference and our schedule will remain the same as before (second and fourth Thursday of every month). The meetings for this March and April are as follows:
- March 26th meeting - submission deadline March 18th @ 5pm
- April 9th meeting- submission deadline April 1 @ 5pm
- April 23 meeting -submission deadline April 15 @ 5pm
Please keep in mind things may be slower than usual as we transition into this new way of doing business and ask for your patience during this time.
Can I still rent out my Short Term Rental to Vacationers?
No. Every person who provides short term rentals in rental accommodations shall ensure that any rentals booked after April 4, 2020 are only provided to individuals who are in need of housing during the emergency period. Subsection (1) does not apply in respect of hotels, motels and student residences. For more information regarding these changes please visit the Government Ontario's website at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces