North Bay city council votes to waive outdoor patio fees
NORTH BAY -- North Bay city council has voted to waive all fees associated with new or expanded patio spaces to help support local businesses.
Mayor Al McDonald held a special meeting of council Wednesday afternoon to discuss the matter.
The waiver includes any building permit fees, parking fees under the existing Sidewalk Patio Program and municipal alcohol license approvals and extensions issued through the city clerk's office for the 2020 season.
"Many businesses have been hard hit by this pandemic and we remain committed to helping our local bars and restaurants, retailers and other establishments recover,” McDonald said.
The provincial government announced this week additional businesses and services will be allowed to reopen Friday with proper health and safety measures in place. This includes outdoor dine-in services at restaurants, bars and other establishments, including patios, curbside, parking lots and adjacent properties.
McDonald said the special vote was all about supporting local businesses as they prepare to reopen.
"We were able to act very quickly following Monday’s provincial announcement to implement this measure and help make reopening a little easier," said McDonald.
In addition to waiving of fees, council also approved a plan to expand the existing Sidewalk Patio Program in the downtown to support the use of sidewalks for outdoor retail space.
“We’re working to assist businesses with reopening as safely as possible by making it easier for them to create more space for their customers,” said deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch. "We hope that this will be one less worry for them as they work to restart their operations.”
Guidelines developed by the city to help local businesses in the creation of new or expanded outdoor patio spaces, including information about when a permit may be required are available on the city's website.