City facilities will close to public access from Tuesday, March 17 through at least Sunday, March 22
New Bedford, Massachusetts– Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced that City facilities will be closed to public access, beginning Tuesday, March 17, through at least Sunday, March 22. With the growing threat posed by the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), City government has begun to shift to a mode of service delivery that minimizes face-to-face interaction.
While facilities are closed to the public, City employees will still report to work, and will be available to address the public’s needs by phone or email. The City agencies are arranging for employees to work remotely where feasible.
To be clear, this order applies to the New Bedford Public Library branches and the Buttonwood Park Zoo. The New Bedford Regional Airport will remain open, with restrictions on ordinary public access.
In addition, public and private events at City facilities have been cancelled or postponed through April 12.
Later this week, the City will make further announcements about limitations to public access to city facilities after March 22.
Last week, the City announced that senior centers were closed until further notice. The New Bedford Public Schools are closed through at least April 7.
Residents are strongly encouraged to pay bills remotely
City residents are encouraged to pay any bills by mail, by phone, or online. Payments can be made online at the City’s website, www.newbedford-ma.gov, and selecting ‘Pay Bills’ directly on the home page. To mail payments, residents can use the mailing address printed on their bills or mail their bills directly to the City Treasurer at the following address:
City Hall – Treasurer’s Office
133 William Street, Room 103
New Bedford, MA 02740
Fees/surcharges and interest waived through end of March
In order to encourage remote payment, residents paying by credit/debit cards during the period in which in-person payment is unavailable will have the convenience fee refunded or credited to their account. The days in which in-person payment are unavailable will not be counted in calculating late fees or interest.
Anyone with questions about paying bills remotely should contact the Treasurer’s Office at 508-979-1430.
Traffic violation tickets
The Traffic Commission office in the Elm Street Garage will be closed to the public. Any payments related to the Traffic Commission can be made online, by phone, or in the payment kiosk in the lobby of the office in the Elm Street Garage.
Residents can still call City departments directly
Anyone who has any business with City departments should contact the department by phone. A listing of telephone numbers for frequently visited departments is below.
As always, for emergencies, residents should call 911.
For non-emergency business with the Police Department, please use their business line at 508-991-6300. For non-emergency business with the Fire Department, please use their business line at 508-991-6124.
For business with the Health Department, please call 508-991-6199.
Meetings of Boards, Commissions and City Council
Meetings of the City’s boards and commissions from March 17 through March 31 will be postponed. The City Council will hold its regular meetings on March 26 and April 9, closed to the public but streamed live online at New Bedford Cable Network’s Facebook page. The Council has suspended committee meetings through March 31. School Committee subcommittee meetings have been postponed through March 31.
The City is committed to keeping all residents informed of the latest news. Follow the City’s social media pages, including Mayor Jon Mitchell’s and the City of New Bedford’s Facebook pages, tune in to New Bedford Cable Access on Channel 18, and visit the City website at www.newbedford-ma.gov for regularly updated news.
“The restrictions announced today are necessary and appropriate measures to stem the spread of the Coronavirus in Greater New Bedford,” said Mayor Jon Mitchell. “I am committed to providing the same responsive city government our residents expect and deserve, but I ask for their understanding and cooperation as city government begins to rely more on remote communication. Likewise, I again strongly urge everyone in our city and region to limit unnecessary person-to-person interaction and observe strict personal hygiene.”
City of New Bedford – Department Phone Numbers
City Clerk: 508-979-1450
Council on Aging: 508-991-6250
Election Commission: 508-979-1420
Fire (non-emergency): 508-991-6124
Inspectional Services: 508-979-1540
Police (non-emergency): 508-991-6300