COVID-19 - FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
BEACHES, PARKS AND TRAILS
Beaches, Parks and Trails continue to be available for passive use throughout the Fall and into the Spring. Patrons are reminded to not congregate in large groups and follow the rules set out in the parks and beaches by-law.
How is the Town supporting businesses during this time?
The Town’s Economic Development Team is assisting businesses who have questions and are looking for additional information on government programs and supports. They can be contacted at email@example.com or by phone at (905) 871-1332.
Business Availability Mapping Tool
The Town along with the Economic Development Team have also developed a Business Availability Mapping Tool, where businesses can log in to update the status of their business and residents can use the tool to find businesses to suit their needs. You can find this tool on the Town’s main webpage at www.forterie.ca.
Can I visit local Cemeteries?
Cemeteries are open for residents to visit their loved ones. We ask that you practice safe physical distancing and keep 2 metres apart from other families that are also visiting the sites.
Is it legal for Council to meet electronically?
New Provincial legislation allows municipalities to hold electronic meetings open to the public as well as meetings closed to the public, provided the holding of meetings is governed by Council's Rules of Procedure and complies with the Municipal Act, 2001. 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 virtual hybrid meetings eliminates the need for residents to leave their homes. Council's Rules of Procedure have been amended to accommodate virtual attendance by both Council and the public.
How can I make a delegation if it is an electronic meeting?
Physical delegations to Council are not available at this time, however, the Town Clerk remains committed to ensuring residents' voices are heard. Electronic participation by residents is available. If there is an item on the Agenda of interest to you, to register as a delegation and find out everything you need to know, click on the following link and contact the Clerk's staff as listed: forterie.ca/pages/CouncilDelegation. You will then be guided by staff with instructions for participating electronically in the meeting.
Where can I find meeting dates and agendas?
Visit www.forterie.ca/pages/CouncilAgendasandMinutes and you will find all of the information you need.
Please tune in via our You Tube page to watch the meetings live at https://www.youtube.com/townofforterie. Council will be conducting meetings via Zoom Teleconference during this time.
COVID HEALTH RELATED QUESTIONS
Where can I get Public Health advice?
Health-related questions or advice are to be directed to Niagara Region's Public Health hotline at 905.688.8248 or visit http://niagararegion.ca/covid19. The Town does not have public health officials on staff, but the Region is Niagara’s Public health authority, with a dedicated team of health professionals who can offer relevant, up-to-date advice.
How many cases are in Fort Erie?
The Regional Municipality of Niagara is responsible for this data. In May 2020, the Region released the data specific to individual Municipalities in the region, including Fort Erie. For the most up-to-date information on statistics please visit: https://niagararegion.ca/health/covid-19/statistics.aspx.
What is the Town enforcing with respect to the Niagara Region Face Covering By-Law?
- Persons not wearing a mask in an indoor public place, excluding employee only areas and persons who are exempt
- Ensuring businesses and establishments are acting in accordance with the By-Law
Is the Town still issuing parking tickets?
Yes. Effective July 1st, 2020, normal parking enforcement duties resumed.
Where can I direct my complaints?
The Town cannot accept complaints on social media. To report a concern or violation around enforcement of the COVID-19 emergency orders, or the Niagara Region Face Covering By-Law, please contact the Town of Fort Erie at 905-871-1600 Ext 5216 or submit an online form.
Do not call 911.
For all COVID-19 health matters and/or inquiries, please call the Public Health hotline at 905-688-8248 or 1 (888) 505-6074 (press option 7 then follow the prompts).
Can I still rent out my Short-Term Rental to Vacationers?
Yes, you can still rent out your Short-Term Rental. For more information, including registering your Short-Term Rental property, click here.
Is the Town part of the Ontario burn ban? Can I have a fire? Can I burn brush?
Fort Erie is not currently under a Fire Burning Ban. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry (MNRF) places fire daytime burning restrictions between April 1 & October 31 every year in Registered Fire Zones. Fort Erie does not fall under any of these zones at this time.
On September 21, 2020, Fort Erie Council passed an Open Burn By-law and we want to remind residents to follow the rules under this By-law No. 93-2020. Click here for more information on the by-law.
How are building permits being handled?
The Planning and Development Services department is continuing to process building permit applications and are performing 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, in the overnight drop off box or by emailing the application and associated documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org. Electronic permit submission is preferred.
What about Large Drawing and Application Submissions?
Electronic permit 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 paid before they will be processed. The payment can be sent via mail, courier or placed in the overnight drop box at Town Hall. Click here for the digital application for a building permit.
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. If at anytime the inspector feels unsafe due to the number of people on site they will refuse to perform the inspection and the inspection will need to be rescheduled. 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 be scheduled by calling 905-871-1600 ext. 5510 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, please be reminded that 24-48 hours notice for inspections is required.
How are planning applications being handled?
For planning applications, staff will accept applications via email to the Lead Staff Member on your file. Fees can be dropped off or mailed to Town Hall cheques can be dropped off as described above. Required Open Houses, Public Meetings and Council Meetings are being hosted by the Town electronically via the Zoom platform. Planning applications and fees can be found here.
What about pre-consultation applications?
For pre-consultation applications, we will continue to accept applications and payments online at the following link: https://www.forterie.ca/resource/eservicesPlanPC.xsp
Pre-consultation meetings continue to be held via Zoom and our schedule will remain the same as before (second and fourth Thursday of every month).
Is the Committee of Adjustment still meeting?
Committee of Adjustment meetings will be virtual meetings. Residents are able to participate in the meeting by Zoom (audio/video via internet or telephone) or by sending comments to the Secretary-Treasurer of the Committee of Adjustment. The meeting will also be streamed live on the Town's YouTube Channel (www.youtube.com/TownofFortErie). Further information can be found here: https://www.forterie.ca/pages/CommitteeofAdjustmentHome
TAXES & WATER PAYMENTS
Tax and Water Due Dates & Payment Options during COVID-19
Town facilities are now open to the public and a screener will ask some COVID-related questions prior to entry. 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.
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. I
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.
- Final tax bills for residential properties will have due dates on June 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021.
- Final tax bills for business properties will have due dates on July 30, 2021 and September 30, 2021.
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
Why did I receive a 2021 Property Assessment Notice from MPAC?
MPAC is 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 2021 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 2022 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.
TENDERS, RFPs and RFQs
How do I submit tenders, RFPs and Pre-qualification submissions?
All solicitations including Tenders, RFPs and Pre-Qualifications should be submitted through the Town's bidding portal at https://www.biddingo.com/forterie. Respondents shall review the Instructions to Bidders in each solicitation document for further information. Public openings of solicitations may be conducted via teleconference. Shortly following the bid closing time, results will be published to the Biddingo website in the same location where bid documents were obtained. Any inquiries regarding this procedure should be directed to Justin Kelly, Manager of Procurement & Finance at email@example.com
TOWN OPERATIONS & EMPLOYEES
What is the Town doing to reduce the risk to Town workers?
The Town takes the safety of our employees seriously and regularly consults with the Ministry of Labour, as well as regional, provincial, and federal public health agencies. The Town is safeguarding municipal staff by taking a series of measures to limit contact between employees and the public and minimize exposure to COVID-19.
All employees are required to stay home if sick and to use the self assessment tool provided by the province. Employees are required to self isolate in accordance with the assessment tool if deemed necessary. This is our first line of defense in protecting our employees.
For those employees that are at work, we have taken many steps to minimize the risk, including but not limited to:
Staggering shift starting times to minimize the number of staff that encounter each other;
- Increasing the frequency of cleaning our vehicles and facilities;
- Deploying staff to satellite locations to minimize the number in any one area;
- Providing hand cleaning supplies to all crews;
- Changing how we do our business to minimize staff interactions;
- Where possible, separating workplaces using physical distancing guidelines.
Shouldn’t municipal workers be physically distancing or following public health guidelines?
Public health guidelines are considered in our day to day work. Employees are regulated under the Ontario Health and Safety Act and in addition to working in accordance with the act we also have policies, procedures and guidelines that are specific to town staff.
Many of the essential services that the Town provides require the employees to work in crews to perform the work safely. Guideline around COVID-19 do not replace existing health and safety regulations. Work that required crews before this emergency, still requires crews during the emergency.
Why is there more than one employee in a truck or Town vehicle?
The provincial order limits groups of people to ten or less. The Town endeavors to limit the number of staff in any Town vehicle (excluding Fire Services) to limit staff interactions. When this is not possible, all appropriate regulations and guidelines under the Ontario Health and Safety Act and Ministry of Labour are being followed.
What else can be done to protect Town employees?
The Town continues to monitor the situation daily and we will make modifications to the way we do our business as necessary to mitigate risks and comply with provincial regulations.