Panama City leaders hope to ease burden of citizens and businesses amid COVID-19 pandemic

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - In this already difficult time, Panama City leaders are taking steps to try to ease the burden many citizens are facing.

Panama City leaders are implementing temporary procedures to relieve citizens and businesses of unnecessary stress during this COVID-19 pandemic. (WJHG/WECP)

Tuesday, city commissioners agreed to waive fees for online payments of things like utility bills, impact fees, and planning fees.

The city hall lobby is now closed to the public as a COVID-19 precaution so officials hope waiving online payment fees will keep citizens from having to go to city hall to pay their bills.

Mark McQueen, Panama City's city manager, said, "we are suspending all the utility disconnects, we started that a week and a half ago. We also have suspended all code enforcement hearings, the magistrate hearings. We just feel like this is not the time and place to be pursuing all of those activities."

The city also wants to partner with local businesses by lowering service charges for garbage pick-ups.

"They're producing less solid waster, less garbage right now and so why should they be paying full fee? That's the position we have and so we want to partner with those businesses to take that burden off for a period of time while we're in this restricted activity," said McQueen.

McQueen said he anticipates code enforcement hearings will resume after April 23rd.

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