Daphne mayor talks about COVID-19 stimulus relief proposal

Coronavirus

DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — The mayor of Daphne says he is proposing ways to help residents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He spoke with News 5 via FaceTime on Friday to explain what all this could mean for the local economy.

The one thing that will affect everyone in Daphne, the mayor is proposing dropping garbage fees.

“That’ll relieve the hardship that many of our citizens are experiencing, or at least provide a little bit of relief,” said Daphne Mayor, Dane Haygood.

Mayor Haygood says he wants to waive the $15.40 monthly trash and recycling fees for Daphne residents for three months. That’s a $46.20 savings for each household within the city limits.

He is encouraging families who are able to spend those savings at local businesses.

“Every dollar that’s spent within our community will continue to change hands and be respent within the economy. Us doing an initiative like this that’s 380-some odd thousand dollars really can have a close to a million-dollar impact,” said Haygood.

In addition to that – he wants to pay first responders and all front line personnel $3.00 an hour extra during the crisis. He also wants to give all public safety employees an additional $250 one-time payment.

“They’re still out really interfacing with the public and really putting themselves in harm’s way,” said Haygood.

The plan, which would have to be approved by the city council, also has a measure to help small businesses, “this plan also proposes to extend relief to small business owners who are not able to pay their sales tax liabilities due to COVID-19 circumstances. Small business owners may file their monthly municipal sales tax returns for March, April, and May reporting periods without making the payment due. These deferred payments will be due no later than July 15, and no late penalty fees will be assessed until July 21, 2020.”

The city council still has to approve the plan, they are set to vote on it on Monday.

READ THE FULL UNEDITED STATEMENT:

Daphne, AL (April 2, 2020): In an effort to ease the financial hardship within the City of Daphne, Mayor Dane Haygood has released a plan to stimulate the economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This plan aims to address concerns within our community and proposes economic stimulus relief for Daphne citizens and the small business community and to provide compensation to first responders for their increased risks associated with job duties during this pandemic. Due to the nature of certain elements, this plan must be ratified by the Daphne City Council and was distributed to council members for consideration Thursday, April 2.

Mayor Haygood is proposing the waiving of the $15.40 monthly service fee for garbage, trash and recycling for each residential customer within the corporate limits of Daphne for three months. According to Mayor Haygood, credits will appear beginning on the first billing cycle following the adoption of this resolution by the City Council. This three-month waiver of fees will result in a savings of $46.20 to each household within the City of Daphne. In order to assist small business owners and their employees during their time of need, the Mayor is encouraging residents to utilize these savings at local retail and dining establishments.

Due to the increased risks and dangers associated with being on the front-line during this pandemic, Mayor Haygood is proposing additional compensation for these personnel. This proposal includes one-time payments to all public safety personnel of $250. Further, the plan proposes that all front-line personnel receive a $3.00 an hour supplement during their time worked for four weeks. The Mayor is proud that the City of Daphne is consistently named one of the safest cities in Alabama and that the Daphne Fire Department is the only department on the Eastern Shore with a full-time and all-EMT certified staff. Adjusting compensation to reflect the increased hazards during this pandemic is paramount to the City in continuing to attract and retain such highly skilled public safety professionals. This plan also proposes to extend relief to small business owners who are not able to pay their sales tax liabilities due to COVID-19 circumstances. Small business owners may file their monthly municipal sales tax returns for March, April and May reporting periods without making the payment due. These deferred payments will be due no later than July 15, and no late penalty fees will be assessed until July 21, 2020. The plan also aims to address streamlining the permitting process associated with residential remodeling construction activity. To accomplish this, a simplified application with a flat fee of $50 is proposed to be made available through July 15, 2020 for residential remodeling activity not to exceed $100,000.

Mayor Haygood presented this resolution proposal to the Daphne City Council on Thursday, April 2 for consideration. The City Council is set to review and vote on this resolution during their next scheduled meeting on Monday, April 6 at 5:00pm at Daphne City Hall.

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