The Town of Normal is proceeding with plans to halt water shutoffs and delay a scheduled utility and waste fee increase in response to potential economic ramifications from the coronavirus pandemic.
"As we know, this situation is going to have significant economic impact," City Manager Pam Reece said during Monday's Town Council meeting. "We just don't know to what extent."
Reece said the proposal will go back to the council for official approval at the next meeting April 6. The utility fee increase set to take effect April 1 will be delayed retroactively; that increase would instead go into effect on July 1.
"I am in total agreement with all the issues," said Mayor Chris Koos. "I think it's the prudent thing to do and sends the message to our residents that we are mindful of the situations they may be facing personally, and we can do something about it."
Reece said the water shutoffs would be suspended at least through the end of the month. She added that customers that have experienced shutoffs have had their service reinstated.
Monday afternoon, Normal announced it had closed municipal facilities to public access until further notice.
"Our goal is ... to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus," Reece said. "We want to respect and practice the social distancing. We want to encourage our citizens to adhere to the ... recommendations to stay home, stay in for a period of time."
The town is still operating and employees will be at work. Residents can contact Town of Normal offices by phone or through the website, normal.org.
'We just want to limit the public interaction between employees and citizens," Reece said.
Three municipal facilities serving as election facilities for Tuesday's primary election will be open for voting: the Ironwood Golf Course clubhouse, Fairview Aquatic Center (temporary precinct replacing the McLean County Nursing Home), and the Community Activity Center.
Reece said she expects the town will need to make some changes to public meeting schedules but that the next Town Council meeting is still planned for April 6, at least for now.
Reece said links to websites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and McLean County Health Department can be found at normal.org.
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