Pappas Sounds Alarm on Budget as North Tonawanda Braces for Financial Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic

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North Tonawanda City Hall

 

By: Arthur Pappas

Mayor of North Tonawanda

If you listen to State and County leader’s information you must be mindful of when we will begin to reopen.  Presently we are still under the Governor’s PAUSE order.  As the number of cases in Niagara County continue to rise with 488 and 60 cases being in N.T. we have not reached the peak of infection or are even plateauing.  In order to reopen we need the rate of infection to decrease.    Niagara County testing has increased rapidly but we are still not close to enough tests being conducted according to the NYS Dept. of Health.  If anyone needs to be tested, they may call 1 888 364 3065 and make an appointment to go to the drive thru testing at Niagara County Community College.   A plan for a safe protocol will be driven by Erie County issues and we will need to regionalize to correspond with Canada, Pennsylvania, and Ohio.

As weather improves the city market attendance will increase but please wear a mask and use social distancing.  The traffic detours on Webster and Main Streets continue to be a problem as individuals seem to ignore the one-way signs.  We are working diligently to try to alleviate difficulties.  For golf course guidelines/mandates please visit the city web site for restrictions.  Marinas and boat launches are open with restrictions posted on-line as well.   Please be aware that there will be no restroom facilities open at any pavilions, marinas. Launches and parks.

The Governor’s new orders include allowance of elective surgery in our county.  All schools are closed for the remainder of the year as it is impossible to keep students and staff safe at this point.  The PAUSE order will continue until May 15th and then we will be instructed as to if it will continue or some things possibly reopen.

I have been in contact with Congressman Higgins for a stimulus Disaster Relief Bill he is submitting to the Federal Government for budget relief to local governments and schools as we will incur a huge loss of revenue from COVID 19.  The passage of this bill will aid greatly in our budget process.

We see most people are cooperating and adhering to the guidelines/mandates.  Those who are doubtful or hesitant please listen to the experts and see why we are pushing for compliance.  The last thing anyone wants is to have a second wave occur and the mandates increase.  This is one moment in time.  Today may be negative and tomorrow positive.  What you do today will determine tomorrow.  Stay faithful and protected, but above all stay well.

 

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