At the March 30 Madison Borough Council Meeting, Mayor Bob Conley introduced a package of measures, that he is calling Madison’s COVID-19 Crisis Response Toolkit. Taken together, these measures are designed to help Madison residents and businesses cope with the financial devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and reassure our community during these uncertain times.
Included in what the mayor described as a “first, right out of the gate” step are targeted measures designed to help members of our community that are truly in most immediate need: Residents who have lost their jobs, and businesses that have had to close or have seen a dramatic loss of income due to the state-wide “shelter-in-place” restrictions. These measures include:
- Extending the borough’s targeted $200 electric rebate to those residents who were recently furloughed or had their jobs terminated due to COVID-19
- Implementing a $400 electric rebate for businesses that have been designated as non-essential and had to close or those that have seen a major downturn in their revenues due to the order
- Immediately waiving for three months all interest and non-payment penalties for utility bills
These three measures will be considered for approval by the Council at its April 13 meeting. The total cost of the package to the borough is estimated to be $300,000.
The following two additional measures were immediately approved by the Council at the March 30 meeting:
- Waiving interest and penalties for up to three months for non-payment of property taxes due on May 1 (for balances under $10,000)
- Immediately suspending any utility disconnects for non-payment for the next three months
The cost of the first measure is estimated to be $40,000; the second measure has zero cost to the borough.
Mayor Conley noted that there are very few municipalities in the state that can offer this kind of crisis help. The Mayor stated: “We are in a unique position of being able to help and it is through two ways. One is our fiscal stability and making sure that we had the resources for the worst of times, [that were] built up during the best of times. And the other by the fact that we own our own utilities, we can expand and help people in need.”
He concluded that this was a start, that these are the measures “that I am asking for us to move forward with now.” He observed that “it has already been mentioned that there are other things that can be implemented.” Noting that we are only a month into this crisis, he expected that “we will come out with other measures [in the future] that we see as necessary and can be done.”
For more information on this and for all borough information related to the COVID-19 crisis, please visit https://www.rosenet.org/1250/Coronavirus-Update.