Mayor Michael O’Connor announced this morning the formal end of the City of Frederick COVID-19 State of Emergency.
The end of the state of emergency does not trigger any significant operational changes, as the City began transitioning to a return to normal status in March. But, it does carry some implications for deadlines and due dates for many City residents.
The City’s extension on due dates for City bills, permits, licensures, and citations will end after 30 days. On this schedule, water and sewer bills that customers receive after today, April 15, will be due on the due date printed on the bill and subject to interest and shutoffs according to city code. Remaining balances for bills received prior to today will be due by May 15. Residents with outstanding water balances should contact the City finance department to address outstanding charges. Any unpaid parking citations will also come due 30 days after this end of the state of emergency.
With regard to rental increases by tenant landlords, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a State of Emergency on Jan. 4, 2022 in a Proclamation which ended 30 days later on Feb 3, 2022. City Ordinance 20-17 passed during the pandemic prohibits rent increases from landlords until 180 days after the conclusion of the Governor’s State of Emergency. That prohibition will remain effective until Aug. 2, 2022.
Lastly, City Ordinance 20-16 extended the expiration dates of certain development permits and approvals for either one year after the termination of the Governor’s original state of emergency, or if the expiration date normally would be after such termination, for one year after the normal expiration date. The Governor’s original state of emergency ended on August 15, 2021, meaning the City’s extension of various planning and permitting approvals referenced in City Ordinance 20-16 will end in August 2022.
“While we are announcing the end of the state of emergency, I want to be clear this does not mean COVID is behind us,” Mayor O’Connor said. “We are still in the midst of a global pandemic … We must not, and we must never, forget to acknowledge the toll COVID-19 has taken on human life in our community, in this country, and across the world. More than 500 residents in Frederick County have died as a result of COVID-19. We have lost more than 985,000 people in the United States, and nearly 6.2 million people around the world. All of these people were moms, dads, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends, co-workers, leaders … they were all loved. Our hearts mourn for those we’ve lost and for those who have lost loved ones over the last two years.”