STOW – As the city deals with the coronavirus pandemic, tax filings and payments are being delayed.
The deadline for filing and paying taxes has been extended to July 19, said Mayor John Pribonic. Tax forms can be found on the city website under the Income Tax tab and forms can be dropped off at the locked box in the parking lot at City Hall or filed online through E-File.
During this time of shutdown, no one will have penalties added to city water bills and no one will have their water shut off, he added.
Pribonic closed access to public building on March 18. Residents should use the city’s website www.stowohio.org for services, including filing taxes, paying water bills and requesting permits. Residents can call the city at 330-689-2700. Printed forms and materials will be available to pick up in the entry between the two doors.
The city building has 20 people with many of the administrative staff working from home, Pribonic said. Only one person is in a city truck, and city workers are doing the essentials.
"The necessary people have to report," Pribonic said. "They are practicing social distancing. We want to maintain the staff."
The police and the fire departments reached out for masks and there was a great response, he said.
In addition, businesses have helped, he said. The Tavern of Stow delivered meals during spring break. Safety measures were in place with gloves and delivery to the vehicle. They also placed delivered meals on the porch and rang the bell.
"People are helping by looking out for their neighbors," Pribonic said. "If anyone needs help, call the city at 330-689-2800, and we can supply what they need."
Pribonic said they are working on plans for when the pandemic passes and is forming a group to make sure businesses survive and the city promotes them.
"We want to look into the future when this passes and make businesses strong," he said. "We have to have a plan into the future."
The city is updating its communication system and using conference calls. The charter review commission has copies of the charter to review at home and they are working out how to conduct the meetings.
"They can read through all of it, write down questions and then talk," Pribonic said. "They have to have it done by mid-June for council and the board of elections."
The charter is reviewed once every five years. Charter Review Commission members include John Baranek, Deb Matz, John Moyer, Alan Narvy, Charles Obendorf, Jennifer Synder and Wendy Supple.
Council Feb. 27 approved all of the members but Obendorf who resigned his position on the zoning and appeals board. Council approved Obendorf March 12 after Greg Seifert was appointed to the zoning and building appeals board as his replacement.
The charter review is its own governing body but they can talk to others and get input from council, administration or the public, Pribonic said.
"We don’t want to present it [the charter] to council without council’s input," he said. "We want to make sure we address the issues they want to address."
Ohio residents are to stay at home through April 6 when the order will be reassessed, Pribonic said. People can go to the grocery store, restaurant carryout, park (no playground equipment) take care of neighbors or family, weddings and funerals.
Gov. Mike DeWine made a list of "essential" businesses that are exempt from the stay-at-home order but comply with social distancing requirements and include stores that sell groceries and medicine; food and beverage manufacturing and licensed marijuana production and agriculture; organizations that provide charitable and social services; religious entities; media; gas stations and businesses needed for transportation; financial and insurance institutions; hardware and supply stores; building and construction trades; post office and other businesses that provide shipping and delivery services; educational institutions; laundry services; restaurants (for consumption off-premises); business that sell or manufacture supplies needed for people to work from home; transportation, including airlines, taxis, and rider services like Uber and Lyft; home-based care and services; residential facilities and shelters; professional services such as legal services and accounting; manufacturing and supply companies that make goods for essential products or services; critical labor functions; hotels and motels; and funeral services.
Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org