Coronavirus: Updates Regarding Town of Avon Operations (4/2/20)

coronavirus
Coronavirus: New Updates Regarding Town of Avon Operations
 
Please note that these measures may be modified as new information becomes available.
 
The following update provides the current status of a number of Town operations as of April 2, 2020:
 
Changes to the Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Budget Adoption Process:
 
On March 21st, the Governor issued Executive Order 7I (EO 7I), which, in part, suspends in-person budget adoption requirements for municipalities, including Avon’s Board of Finance Public Hearing, Annual Town Meeting and Referendum.  In accordance with EO 7I, on March 30th, the Town Council authorized the Board of Finance, as the Town’s budget-making authority, to adopt a budget for the fiscal year 2020/2021 and to set a mill rate. The Council also adopted a new budget calendar to facilitate this process, as follows:
 
  • The Board of Finance will hold a Special Meeting with the Town Council and the Board of Education on Monday, May 4th at 7:00 p.m. Details of the proposed budget will be presented to the Board at this time.
  • The Board of Finance will hold a Budget Workshop with the Town Council and the Board of Education on Monday, May 11th at 7:00 p.m. The Board of Finance will consider the adoption of a budget and the setting of a mill rate.
In order to practice appropriate social distancing measures, these meetings will not be open to the public to attend in-person. However, on each agenda, the Town will provide instructions for the public to access the meetings virtually. Meeting materials will be posted on the Town’s website prior to the meeting.
 
In order to help us to facilitate these virtual meetings, we ask that the public submit their commentary and questions on the budget to the Town in writing on or before May 11th at 12 noon.  Commentary can be emailed to budgetcomments@avonct.gov, or mailed to the Town Manager’s Office at 60 West Main Street. Comments will be provided to the Board of Finance for review and included in the official meeting records. Oral public comment will not be received during these meetings.
 
Details of the Town Council’s proposed budget can be found HERE.
 
Town Issues Emergency Declaration:
 
The Town has issued an emergency declaration in order to allow the Town to take full advantage of the Governor’s Emergency Declarations related to the COVID-19 pandemic and to be prepared for the possible effects of the pandemic on our community. A copy of the declaration is available for your review HERE.
 
Residents are encouraged to sign up for the CT Emergency Alert and Notification System to receive updates, alerts for emergencies and other important community news.
 
Town Hall & Department of Public Works:
 
The exterior doors to the Town Offices and the Department of Public Works are locked. Access by members of the public is restricted to urgent business only. The public is asked to please refrain from visiting the buildings for non-urgent matters and is encouraged to conduct business via phone, email or U.S. Mail to the extent possible.
 
Town staff are available via phone and email Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.   It is quite likely that callers will be greeted by a voicemail message.  We encourage you to leave a message.  Staff are checking voicemail frequently and you will receive a call back as soon as we are able.
 
A list of department phone numbers is available HERE. Clicking on the department name will bring you to a list of staff contacts for that department. Clicking on an individual’s name will allow you to send that person an email detailing your request. Not sure which department to contact? Call (860) 409-4300 and we will direct your request accordingly. Please call or email the specific department before coming to the Town Offices to see if staff can assist you remotely, provide direction for submitting documents, or to make an appointment to be seen in person.
 
Additionally, we encourage residents to take advantage of a number of e-government services offered by the Town. The following is a list of online services and documents that are featured on the department pages on the Town’s website. We have also included information about some in-person services that have been altered to protect the health of staff and members of the public.
 
  • Assessor’s Office - Property Record Look-up database available for online access and Renter’s Rebate Program forms available for download.  Please call the Office regarding deadlines for specific tax relief programs.
  • Building Department – Permit forms available for download.  Inspections are being completed on a limited basis.  Please contact the Building Department for details.
  • Collector of Revenue – Pay your tax bill online.
  • Engineering Department - Maps and mapping available online, driveway and sewer permit forms available for download.
  • Fire Marshal’s Office – Permit forms available for download.  Inspections are being completed on a limited basis.  Please contact the Fire Marshal's Office for details.
  • Human Resources – Application for Employment available for download.
  • Planning & Community Development – Applications available for download.
  • Police Department – Citizens’ Police Academy applications, bingo permit applications, and raffle permit applications available for download.
  • Recreation & Parks Department – Register for programs and classes online.
  • Registrar of Voters – Register to vote or change your political party affiliation. Check your voter registration status.
  • Social Services – Dial-a-Ride application and Food Assistance application available for download.
  • Town Clerk – Absentee Ballot application, Dog License application, Trade Name Certificates, Request forms for certified copies of birth records, marriage records, and death certificates available for download. Land record database and public document database available for online access.
  • Town Manager’s Office – Public bids and RFPs available for download.
The decision to begin operating in this way was very difficult to make, however the health and safety of our community and our employees is our utmost priority. We thank you in advance for your understanding and your cooperation in this matter.
 

Police Department:

It is the goal of the Avon Police Department to provide continued and uninterrupted police services during this difficult time. Therefore, effective immediately, The Avon Police Department will be taking precautionary measures to limit potential exposure/spread of the COVID-19 virus. The following measures are being taken:

  • For emergency calls, Avon Police Officers will respond as normal.
  • For non-emergency calls the Avon Police Department will be accepting complaints over the phone. Callers will be asked to provide their name and phone number to the dispatcher. The caller can expect an officer to call them back shortly to discuss the issue and determine if police response is necessary.*
  • If police response is needed, you will be asked to meet the officer outside of your residence or business. 
  • If a police report is needed, the information can be taken over the phone and you will be provided a case number
  • If you must come to the police department, you are asked to call the Police Department in advance.
  • Fingerprinting has been discontinued until further notice. 

These precautions are temporary and we look forward providing the best service possible. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

The routine number for the Avon Police Department is 860-409-4200.

*All phone calls will be made from an Avon Police Department landline so the caller ID identifies the Avon Police Department is calling. If you are unsure you are speaking with an Avon Police Officer, hang up and call our routine phone number listed above.

Social Services & Senior Center:
 
All programming at the Senior Center, with the exception of Dial-a-Ride transportation (medical and food appointments only) is cancelled until further notice. Those that may be in urgent need of essential items such as groceries, toiletries, pharmacy items or other urgent needs, please contact the Department of Social Services at (860) 409-4346 or email arosenberg@avonct.gov during business hours.  Evenings and weekends please e-mail arosenberg@avonct.gov.  For those members of our community who wish to volunteer or make a donation during this time, please contact the Department of Social Services as well.
 
Avon Free Public Library:
 
The Library will be closed until further notice. Staff will be checking and responding to voicemails and e-mails regularly so please do not hesitate to contact the Library at (860) 673-9712. Take a look at the digital content available through the Library’s website by visiting www.avonctlibrary.info.
 
Use of Town Facilities & Parks:
 
All use of Town facilities, including the Selectmen’s Chamber, the Avon Room, the Senior Center Community Room, the Library Community Room and Countryside Park building, by outside groups is suspended indefinitely. 
 
Effective March 19, 2020, Governor Ned Lamont issued Executive Order No. 7F, Closure of Places of Public Amusements whether indoors or outdoors, and further stated that this directive does not apply to public parks and open space recreation areas.  These locations in the Town of Avon continue to remain open at this time. With that said, whether participating in passive or active recreation, prudent use of the Town’s parks and open space areas must include the recommended social distancing of six feet or more. All organized events in Town parks and open space areas are cancelled until further notice and all non-organized events such as pick-up games are very strongly discouraged.   Please note that Executive Order 7N (issued 3/26/20) prohibits gatherings of more than five individuals through at least April 30th.
 
As of Monday, March 23, 2020, per the recommendation of the Farmington Valley Health District, all playgrounds and tennis courts on Town and Board of Education property are closed until further notice to encourage social distancing.
 
While this recommendation runs contrary to the Department of Recreation and Parks’ mission and is a very difficult decision to make, park patrons must continue to recognize that we are in the midst of a public health emergency and must act accordingly to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 
 
Public Meetings:
 
All public meetings scheduled through March 31st are cancelled. From April 1st through April 30th, the Town’s regulatory agencies (Town Council, Board of Finance, land use agencies and the AWPCA) may meet as needed for essential business, but the meetings will be closed to in-person attendance by the public. The public will be able to listen to these meetings via a conference service. On each agenda, we will provide instructions for accessing the meeting and for the public to submit comments via email ahead of the meeting to be read into the record. Non-regulatory agencies will not meet during this period.
 
Transfer Station:
 
The Transfer Station continues to operate according to its regular schedule with the exception that the Swap Shack is closed until further notice.
 
We also continue to send out through the Town's web site other COVID-19 related information that may be of assistance to you.