By: Saraana Jamraj
As people around the world assess the economic impact the COVID-19 will have on their financial situations, residents of Tamarac depend on their city officials to provide economic relief—and they have begun to, by putting a moratorium on all water shutoffs for nonpayment.
Vice Mayor Marlon Bolton spoke to the importance of responding to the needs of residents during a time where so many have multiple things to worry about.
“I want our Tamarac residents to know that our city cares,” said Bolton.
The city stopped shutting off delinquent water accounts on March 16. Still, it was unsure how long they would delay any shutoffs.
At the Special Commission meeting on March 19, Bolton suggested solidifying that decision. After a short discussion, the commission was able to finalize that moratorium with a definitive timeframe.
While it’s uncertain how long the pandemic will continue to be a crisis, Bolton suggested adding a timeframe of certainty, under which there would be absolutely no shutoffs, and extending it as needed.
City Manager Michael Cernech agreed and suggested doing it for at least 90 days.
“While the coronavirus may be dissipated in 90 days, the economic impact that the coronavirus will have on the community will be substantial,” said Cernech.
As the need to socially distance grows, and CDC and state guidelines change, more businesses are shutting down every day—which city officials, like Cernech and Bolton, recognize will have long-lasting effects.
“I would suspect, based on what we’re hearing and anticipating, that people will be out of jobs and out of works and that the economic fallout could continue for a significant period of time,” said Cernech.
Given that, they decided the timeframe for a moratorium should be 90 days — but that after those 90 days, it will be reassessed, as it may need to be continued.
On a Facebook post, Bolton reassured residents that the city is there for them.
“Tamarac residents can rest assured that their water supply will not be interrupted for 90 days, from March 16, 2020,” said Bolton.
- Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at Florida International University.
She's currently the communications manager at The Salt Box in Parkland and has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.