Council members are encouraging residents who may need it to seek help now that the eviction moratorium and utility shut-off moratorium have ended. Housing Committee Chair Marie Carrubba said there are a number of financial programs available through the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau, “There are a number of programs available to assist individuals in either getting actual financial aid, or working out a payment plan either with their mortgage holder or with their landlord, how to assist in trying to repay or get loans, or get actual grants if they’ve been impacted by COVID to help with those situations.”
Carrubba said the BPU also has a payment program for those impacted by COVID. She added the City’s Department of Development and Chautauqua Opportunities also have resources available for those needing assistance.
Carrubba emphasized that if people do nothing that the problem for them is not going to go away, “You will probably find yourself evicted when Housing Court gets rid of the backlog or you will find yourself with utilities shut off which will make your apartment or home uninhabitable. So I would encourage anyone with a financial difficulty to do something now and not to wait. Because, again, it will be first come, first serve. When the resources are depleted, there won’t be funds available.”
City Council also received a report on the City’s plan to discontinue screening for marijuana for all employees except those who hold a CDL license. Employees with a CDL license would still be screened for marijuana as it is a federal requirements under the Department of Transportation.
The City’s drug and alcohol policy would still not permit city employees to work when under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police Chief Tim Jackson did indicate he was working on a policy for the Police Department as under Federal Law, officers of law are not permitted to carry a handgun and be under the influence of marijuana.