BIDDEFORD — The Biddeford City Council has voted to waive interest fees on tax bills and parking lot fees for a period of time and has agreed on a plan to help residents deal with trash and brush.

At a special meeting on Tuesday evening, the council voted to waive interest on Fiscal Year 2020 property and personal property tax payments for 60 days. Interest will now begin accruing after June 8; payments were previously due on April 8.

As well, the City Council has waived parking lot permit fees for the month of May for anyone who bought a parking permit for the month of April, according to Communications Coordinator Danica Lamontagne. She said parking permit holders will be directly notified.

“Right now, it is more important than ever for us to support our neighbors and friends who may be deeply impacted by this public health crisis,” said Mayor Alan Casavant. “The decisions made at Tuesday night’s meeting are important measures to provide financial relief during this difficult time.”

The City Council, like most others in Maine, is meeting by video conference during the coronavirus pandemic

The Council also approved a plan to address concerns voiced by residents who are following recommendations to stay at home and generating larger amounts of household trash.

Beginning April 1, for each Pay As You Throw orange trash bag that is used, a free bag will be dropped off in replacement. Residents who do not have access to a Pay as You Throw bags and cannot visit a store to buy one may call the city’s service hotline at 284-9020 for help. For questions or concerns, go to https://www.biddefordmaine.org/3020/PAYT-Bag-Replacement

The Recycling Center, at 371 Hill St., is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for disposal of large items only.

Public Works will offer free curbside pickup for brush and other yard waste, as the brush disposal portion of the Recycling Center remains closed. Beginning April 1, residents can put branches, leaves, and other brush at the curb on their regular trash collection day and it will be picked up at no cost.

“We believe that the best way to protect the health of our staff and community members is to limit service at the Recycling and Transfer Station during this public health crisis,” said Public Works Director Jeff Demers. “These alternative plans for trash pickup and brush collection are in place to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our residents while practicing social distancing.”

For more information on Biddeford’s response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, go to: www.biddefordmaine.org/publichealth

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