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City Manager Announces Temporary Policy Changes
City Manager Bonnie Svrcek announced several actions the City of Lynchburg will be taking to assist residents and businesses coping with financial challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic
In the interest of public health and safety, the City’s Department of Water Resources is suspending all water service cutoffs for non-payment through Friday, May 15, 2020. Late fees will also be waived during this time period. This suspension is to ensure that all Lynchburg residents are able to continue to practice good hygiene by washing their hands with soap and water to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Svrcek stated, “We know our citizens are concerned about their families, and ensuring they have reliable water and wastewater services allow them to focus on staying healthy and well. We remain committed to providing those services while maintaining all public health and safety standards.”
Customers are urged to make every effort to keep their accounts current during the period when disconnections are suspended and to use payment methods other than visiting City Hall in person. Residents may mail their payments using one of the online payment options available on the City’s website at www.lynchburgva.gov or on the City’s mobile app. Download the app at www.lynchburgva.gov/apps.
The widespread closures, social distancing and recommendations to avoid public gatherings have created excess burdens upon restaurant, lodging and entertainment businesses in the City. To provide some assistance to these businesses, the City Manager has authorized businesses to defer payment of certain taxes without penalty, interest and collection activities.
“I have authorized the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office and the Billings and Collections Division to not impose penalties and interest upon the late filing or late remittance of Meals, Lodging & Amusement taxes during the period of the emergency,” said Svrcek. “Furthermore, the February filings of the business license taxes due tomorrow will be deferred until Monday, April 20, 2020 with the remainder deferred until May 20, 2020.” Businesses are encouraged to contact the Commissioner of the Revenue’s Office at (434) 455-3880 if they have questions.
In addition, the City Manager has placed a hiring freeze on all non-public safety positions for the immediate future. City departments have also been directed to curtail any expenditure except for purchases directly related to COVID-19.
Beginning Friday, March 20, 2020, parking restrictions will be lifted in the following areas for free public parking:
• Jefferson Street - All on-street two-hour time limits
• Jefferson Street Lot (located behind Water Dog Restaurant) - Paid hourly parking spaces ONLY located in the middle of the lot
• Depot Lot - Paid parking
• Crossroads Lot - Paid parking
• Clay Street Parking Deck - Middle level paid parking
Beginning Monday, March 23, 2020 the City will operate on a minimal operational staffing schedule. Residents who must do business with the City in a face to face format are encouraged to call Citizens First at (434) 856-2489 or the appropriate department to determine staffing availability. Finally, please continue to follow the Virginia Health Department’s recommendations of washing your hands, practicing social distancing, covering your mouth and nose with a tissue if you cough or sneeze and stay home if you are sick.