Some city services limited in Bayonne amid COVID-19 pandemic

As a result of the State of Emergency, Mayor Davis announces changes

A Bayonne EMS tech cleans ambulances frequently to prevent the spread of germs. Photo by McCabe Ambulance.
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A Bayonne EMS tech cleans ambulances frequently to prevent the spread of germs. Photo by McCabe Ambulance.

COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus, is changing the way the city of Bayonne operates. On March 12, a State of Emergency was declared by Mayor James Davis in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Davis announced that the Bayonne City Administration needs to make temporary adjustments to the ways it provides services during the COVID-19 crisis. Starting in late March, city services will be making adjustments as Bayonne prepares for a potential local outbreak.

“During the second half of March, the City of Bayonne will make temporary changes in various departments, in order to reduce the number of people coming to City Hall,” Mayor Davis announced. “Reducing the size of crowds waiting in hallways for services will help us fight the spread of the Coronavirus.”

According to Davis, each department is making changes that are designed to reduce the number of employees and members of the public coming to city hall each day for at least the next two weeks.

Other changes will reduce the number of routine inspections by the Building Department and home visits by the Office On Aging.

Parking regulations temporarily lifted

As a result of the cancellation of many events, as well as school and work, parking regulations are being temporarily altered.

“Due to the closure of schools with many parents remaining home, and many other residents working from home, enforcement of alternate side of the street sweeping regulations will be suspended until further notice,” Davis stated. “However, mechanical street sweeping will still take place, and we ask the public’s cooperation in this effort to keep our streets clean by moving their vehicles on regularly scheduled sweeper days.”

Davis said that to eliminate large groups of people queuing up in city hall to obtain Resident and or Driveway Parking Permits, the expiration of orange and purple zone parking permits has been extended until further notice. The expiration of permits will not be enforced.

Blocked driveway violations will continue to be enforced on a complaint-received basis, according to Davis. The in-person issuance of zone and driveway parking permits in city hall will be suspended until further notice, but residents may continue to apply for these permits online or by mail.

Less foot traffic in city hall

The Building Department will issue building permits by appointment only through March 30. In-person counter service is suspended at the Building Department Office at city hall.

“The idea is to reduce the number of walk-ins and crowds waiting on line,” Davis said.

All business that the public needs to conduct with the Building Department should be performed by calling 201-858-6073, via fax to 201-858-6122, or via e-mail to mkaniewski@baynj.org, with simultaneous copy to jsebik@baynj.org.

Each email will be confirmed by a member of the Building Department staff as being received.

If residents do not have a confirmation of the receipt of a fax or email by the close of the next business day, call the Building Department.

Inspections can still be requested through the SDL portal. Any documents can also be mailed to the Building Department at 630 Avenue C. Residents are asked to include an email address for ease of communication with the Building Department.

Issuance of permits suspended

The city also suspended the issuances of a number of permits during the State of Emergency.

The issuance for new permits for minor work, such as plumbing, electrical, mechanical, fire and building, will be temporarily suspended until March 30 on the condition that any work being performed requiring a permit must be reported to the Building Department.

The work must be reported before any work is started by calling (201) 858-6073, and a permit application will be submitted via mail to the Building Department.

All inspections will be scheduled at a later date upon notification by the Building Department.

Inspections of occupied residential structures will be suspended temporarily, except for confirmed emergencies. Unoccupied structures and new construction will be subject to the usual inspections.

The issuance of new dumpster permits will be temporarily suspended until March 30 on the condition that any new dumpsters placed in the city requiring a permit must first be reported to the Building Department before dumpsters are placed within city limits. Those interested can do so by calling (201) 858-6073, and a permit application will be submitted via mail to the Building Department.

For more information or questions, call (201) 858-6073 or email mkaniewski@baynj.org with simultaneous copy to jsebik@baynj.org.

“We will try our best to work with everyone as usual so that your projects and business with the Building Department remains uninterrupted during this time,” Davis said.

In addition to permit foot traffic related to parking and other permits at the Building Department, Bayonne is recommending other online methods in lieu of traveling to city hall in person.

The Bayonne Municipal Court is encouraging people to pay fines online. Anyone who wishes to fight tickets in court will have to wait until April.

Only one entrance will remain open at city hall during the shutdown. The side doors on 27th Street and 28th Street will be closed for at least two weeks, effective Monday, March 16.

The goal is to reduce crowding in the back hallway of the building. Visitors will be directed to the appropriate office at the main Avenue C entrance.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.