LYNN NEWS ROUND-UP
SEPTEMBER 30, 2020
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City of Lynn announces new, enhanced online bill pay services
The City of Lynn’s Online Bill Pay Services will look a little different the next time you go to pay online. The new system offers added enhancements and new features that will make paying and viewing your tax and utility bills online with City of Lynn more convenient and helpful.
Online features include: e-billing, single shopping cart for multiple bill types, as well as giving our customers the ability to view and print original bill copies for this current or past fiscal year. Customers may register to receive an email notification of their bill, and it would take effect with their next billing cycle.
This initiative is part of City of Lynn’s efforts to move the city forward by utilizing state-of-the-art software solutions that are secure, efficient, cost-effective and easy to use for our residents. The new vendor is City Hall Systems, and taxpayers will have access to their customer service team should they have any online payment questions or wish to make a payment by phone. City Hall Systems customer service can be reach by phone at 509-381-5455, by email at email@example.com or by multilingual online chat.
For info. about our curbside services please click here.
New Grants Will Provide Resources to Local Businesses in Lynn
The City of Lynn, in partnership with Lynn Main Streets (LMS), has been awarded $81,132 through the Massachusetts Department of Transportation Shared Streets and Spaces Grant Program. This grant will provide resources and support to restaurants and retail businesses in Lynn, with a focus on the downtown, through ‘creative reopening’ solutions that allow for safe and profitable outdoor vending.
With these funds, up to ten locations will receive outdoor dining/vending capabilities to expand on their services to-date. Businesses were paired with a local artist, youth group and/or member of our local creative community to assist in beautifying their space and celebrating its uniqueness, making it identifiable as a true local asset that the community can rally around.
‘Creative Reopenings’ is the innovative and artistic nature of adding creative community place keeping elements to compliant outdoor infrastructure. As with every endeavor introduced by LMS, community engagement plays a key role in understanding the biggest needs and concerns in order to best utilize the assistance provided. Main Streets released two surveys, both to business owners and consumers in multiple languages, to gauge and assess factors such as comfortability levels, preferred methods, and operational capabilities.
“COVID-19 has presented a number of obstacles for our City and particularly the small business community in Lynn,” said Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “I am proud of this collaborative effort by City officials and Lynn Main Streets to take advantage of this MassDOT grant to assist local businesses struggling during these unprecedented times. We will continue to work together with members of our community to find innovative ways to offer enjoyable outdoor dining experiences that make customers feel safe and comfortable at the same time.”
Supporting the small business community has always been an essential part of creating an inclusive and sustainable downtown. This has become even more evident with the current public health crisis that continues to dramatically impact our community at large, especially our Lynn owned businesses. Some of the hardest hit members of our community have been our small and minority owned businesses. A recent MassInc poll reported that the smallest businesses face the steepest road to recovery with a majority of them seeing declines greater than 50% for the first part of the year, compared to 35% of larger businesses. This dynamic has the potential to exacerbate inequities, as smaller businesses are more likely to be founded or owned by women and people of color.
“We are thinking forward, for the few warm days we have left and for next year to make Lynn look a great place to sit outside and enjoy food in a safe environment,” said Freddy Cuevas, CFO & Owner of Los Chamos Cuisine. “We have a few plans for next year and I believe with the help of the city providing permits on a fast pace, and also Lynn Main Streets helping with all the logistics and putting together this project, it gives hope to all small and minority businesses to keep working hard to get through this pandemic. We have had to make difficult sacrifices, but we are still here and we believe any type of help at this moment is very important.”
This Shared Streets grant will complement the ongoing work being conducted by Lynn Main Streets through the MassDevelopment Commonwealth Places COVID-19 Response Round: Resurgent Places Grant. The grant award included $10,000 to expand Lynn Main Streets’ ability to assist businesses to continue to offer outdoor dining as the colder months approach. LMS will be launching a crowdsourcing campaign in the coming weeks in order to raise additional funding and support for this community-response initiative.
Update on Census Deadline and Self-Response
At the very end of the working day [Monday], the Census Bureau announced that it now plans to conclude self-response and field operations on October 5. However, please note that the date might shift again. Based on the below recent developments, Judge Koh has ordered the government to produce an administrative record by 1pm ET [yesterday], explaining the Census Bureau’s reasoning for the new Oct. 5 deadline. Upon receiving the information, the court [had] another conference at 6 pm ET to discuss and rule on whether the government has violated the PI.
Editor’s note: we have not received further updates yet as to what happened during the above-mentioned conference
Background information: In a continuation of the National Urban League case, the parties held a case management conference yesterday afternoon to discuss production of the full administrative record that had been previously ordered by the court. Under the Preliminary Injunction (PI) issued by Judge Koh last Thursday, the government is enjoined from abiding by the September 30 cutoff deadline, because this deadline was found to not be the product of reasoned decision-making. As such, the previous deadline (October 31) went back into effect. However, the government is still able to engage in further “reasoned” decision-making, which would allow it to shift the date again. This is one element of uncertainty with regard to the PI.
In another update, we received word from the Census Bureau that self-response options (online at my2020census.gov and by phone) will still be available past September 30th. There has been no update as to whether MQAs will be available in October.
We’ll continue to monitor, but wanted to share the latest info that we have.
SCCC Coordinator, MIRA Coalition
From Mayor McGee’s office: The Lynn Public Health Department has confirmed that as of today, the number of active, confirmed positive COVID-19 cases is 420 with 20 new cases today. 4,418 Lynn residents have recovered and 118 have died. The total number of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases in Lynn since March 21, 2020, including those who have died and recovered, is 4,956. Please visit the City of Lynn COVID-19 Data Dashboard which is updated daily.
Please visit http://www.ci.lynn.ma.us/