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4/16/20 - COVID-19 Update from First Selectman Jim Marpe

Post Date:04/16/2020 4:00 PM

First Selectman Jim Marpe provided the following update today.

 Tax Relief Program

 On April 1, 2020, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7S, which includes directives that may provide relief for the municipal taxes that are due to be paid to Westport in April 2020. The Order requires that each municipality adopt one or both program(s) offering tax relief to local residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the Governor’s Executive Order, such a proposal must then be adopted by the Representative Town Meeting (RTM). Since the time of that Executive Order issuance, Town officials have been working diligently to develop a tax relief program.

 After careful analysis, the administration recommended that the RTM approve the deferral program because it offers the most financial benefit to the neediest subset of taxpayers. The deferral program authorizes an extended three-month grace period for payment of taxes by eligible taxpayers.

 Last night, the administration presented its detailed analysis and justifications for the tax deferral alternative to the Board of Finance. The Board endorsed the administration’s recommendation.  This evening, the RTM Finance Committee will discuss the proposal. The administration will then present its recommendation to the full RTM on April 22. The RTM will vote on the program during that meeting. Upon the RTM’s approval of a tax relief program for Westport, additional information and instructions to the public will be released as quickly as possible.

 Important Information from the Westport Center for Senior Activities

 The Westport Center for Senior Activities has started a new WCSA YouTube channel to encourage our homebound residents to stay active and engaged. The WCSA has also added 39 virtual Zoom course offerings focusing on mental, emotional, fitness, creativity and wellness while the facility is closed.  Sign up for email updates and/or contact seniorcenter@westportct.gov to register for a class by calling 203-341-5099.

The Southwest Connecticut Agency on Aging has also developed a helpful guide with a variety of information for seniors and their families. 

Recommendations

 Currently, the use of cloth facemasks when you do go out is recommended. The use of these masks does NOT eliminate the need for social distancing. It is NOT an invitation to stop self-isolation, but rather a way to protect yourself and others when you have an essential need and must go out and into a setting with other people where social distancing isn’t guaranteed.

 Instructions for no-sew masks are abundant, and we suggest that residents research the best and most appropriate version for their personal use. Instructions for making a cloth facemask at home are also available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.  Though these options are not FDA-approved, they provide an effective, reusable barrier against the spread of COVID-19. Consider making or obtaining a cloth facemask as soon as possible to conserve surgical facemasks.

 First Selectman Marpe reminds residents that the regular updates from the Selectman’s Office are not exhaustive lists of the daily work that is ongoing during this crisis, nor are they to be considered a replacement for any emergency alerts. Rather, they are another communication channel to keep residents abreast of significant messages and items of interest, as well as a means to address frequently asked questions, concerns and suggestions. As additional information becomes available, for any reason or for any issue, this office will try to keep the public as up-to-date as possible.

 Please continue to self-isolate, quarantine if necessary, thoroughly wash your hands, socially distance yourself and, as much as possible, stay at home. Remember, you’re not stuck at home, you’re safe at home.

 To follow or check updates:

 

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