Invercargill residents have been given a reprieve on paying rates and dog registrations while the city is in lockdown.
Dog registrations for the 2021-2022 period and the first rates payment instalment for the year, both due at the end of this week, will now not incur late payment penalties if received within 14 working days of Invercargill returning to Alert Level 2.
Invercargill City Council Group Manager Customer and Environment Trudie Hurst said Council understood the pressure people were under.
“With the Civic Administration Building closed during Alert Levels 4 and 3, Council has decided to make it easier for people who needed more time to pay or who preferred to drop in and pay their bills personally,” she said.
“We know some of our ratepayers and dog owners can’t easily pay their bills online and so we wanted to remove that particular barrier.
“We hope that this will take at least one stress out of people’s lives at the moment.”
Those requesting or waiting for LIM reports have also been asked to think carefully about what they need, she said.
Council staff were not able to access hard-copy property files to obtain all of the information normally provided in LIMs.
“If you are able to wait until Southland moves to Level 3 then Council staff suggest you do so.”
All electronic information can still be provided, but paper copy-only information cannot be provided until staff can return to the building.
This may affect information about matters including shared driveways, resource consents and building permits, land use and Fire Service requirements.
“Council will not accept liability for any hard-copy information that is missing from a LIM issued while Southland is COVID-19 Alert Level 4.
“If people decide to wait until Alert Levels change please alert staff as they still issue LIMs in 10 working days as required by the Act.”
Roading Manager Russel Pearson said the City Centre Streets Upgrade project had also been affected by Alert Level 4.
Works associated with the upgrade were not deemed essential services so could not proceed.
Only building, construction, and maintenance services that address immediate risks to health and safety or are nationally important infrastructure permitted under Level 4.
PowerNet have advised that their field teams will be finishing some work they had begun on Esk St before New Zealand went into Alert Level 4 as their work is deemed essential.
Esk St remains open to traffic, and the Don St site and work zone remain in place.
However, Mr Pearson said that works should begin again within one to two days of the change to Alert Level 3.
To register your dog online, please visit icc.govt.nz/online-payments where you can pay by direct debit, internet banking or credit card.
If you need your dog registration number please message Council’s Facebook Messenger or call 03 211 1777.
Council also have online options for rates payments, such as direct debit, internet banking and credit card. For more info on ways to pay online, please visit icc.govt.nz/rates/payment-options-advice