HRM Response to COVID-19: Municipal service updates

The Covid Chronicle

**** HRM Media Release

Response to COVID-19: Municipal service updates

Friday, March 27, 2020 (Halifax, N.S.) – The Halifax Regional Municipality continues to monitor and respond to the rapidly evolving effects of COVID-19.

The municipality is committed to taking important steps in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

There are no reductions in public safety service levels. All essential services of the municipality – including 311, fire and police – are operational and adhering to the most updated guidance and precautions from health officials.

The following is an update on municipal services:

Halifax Transit

  • Due to the incredible effort from Halifax Transit maintenance workers, operators, and the operations team, today’s service remained fully operational on a reduced schedule.
  • Halifax Transit has been designated by the Province of Nova Scotia an essential service under the current provincial state of emergency. In light of this direction by the province, the municipality will continue delivering the highest level of service that can be reasonably provided – while also continuing to take steps that help minimize the spread of COVID-19 and make buses as safe an environment as possible in the circumstances. Residents are reminded that the level of transit service provided will continue to be adjusted as necessary, based on available operational resources.
  • For riders who have purchased a March or April transit pass, please keep your passes until further notice. Halifax Transit will update the status of transit passes in the coming days.
  • For all other transit adjustments related to COVID-19, please visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus.

Special Regional Council Meetings

  • To continue to practice safe social distancing, there will be three virtual special meetings of Regional Council on April 2, April 14 and April 28, each starting at 1 p.m. The purpose of these special meetings is to deal with matters as determined by the CAO and Mayor.
  • The regularly scheduled meetings on April 7 and April 21 are cancelled.
  • One of the agenda items will be a discussion on the status of property taxes.
    • The municipality is evaluating options for taxpayers. A Notice of Motion will be presented on April 2 regarding the due date of taxes as an immediate measure. Decisions will be communicated to taxpayers after Regional Council deliberation and in advance of the deadline.
  • Technology for virtual meetings is being tested currently and residents and media may be able to access the meeting while it is underway. According to the provincial order of the state of emergency, Regional Council minutes will be available on halifax.ca within 24 hours of the meeting. An audio recording of the entire meeting proceedings will be available as soon as possible following the meeting. Staff are exploring whether a video of the Regional Council proceedings is possible.
  • The agenda and reports for the April 2 meetings will be posted online on Tuesday, March 31 at 1 p.m.

Parks & Recreation

  • Recreation centres remain closed for the foreseeable future and all programming remains cancelled.
  • All municipal parks, beaches, playgrounds and sports fields/courts, as well as many trails are closed until further notice.
  • Residents who have questions about the status of a trail can call 311, however the municipality is asking residents to:
    • Stay home unless necessary
    • Walk/exercise within your neighbourhood only
    • Do not gather in groups
    • Do not visit parks
    • Continue to practice social distancing
  • Please note that all municipal spring recreation programming is cancelled and automatic refunds will be processed in the coming days.​
  • All programs have been removed from the online registration system, and credits for cancelled programs have been applied as a first step. If residents wish to keep a credit on file for future use, please email the registration team at myrec@halifax.ca by Sunday, March 29.
  • All registrants will receive an email outlining this information, and additional questions can be submitted by email to myrec@halifax.ca. The registration phone line is not active for the time being.

2020 Volunteer Awards

  • The 2020 Volunteer Awards are postponed until further notice.
  • Information regarding a new date will be shared on the website and with recipients once confirmed.

For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit Halifax.ca/coronavirus.

Thank you for helping with the community effort to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

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