The coronavirus battle has opened up lots of free parking in the City of Buffalo. With people heeding warnings about the contagion, police are getting fewer calls.
In a conference call with reporters, Mayor Byron Brown said Monday while City Hall remains closed, operators in the call and resolution center are now working remotely.
"Residents should continue to call 3-1-1 if they have any questions or need to report any non-emergency issues," Brown said.
Brown said Buffalo's online portal is available to everyone who needs to make a payment to the city.
Buffalo Sewer Authority General Manager OJ McFoy says water customers who fail to pay will no longer have their service shut off.
"In addition we are not imposing any late fees or penalties on accounts at this time as we want people to stay safe and remain at home to stop the spread of this virus," McFoy said.
With fewer people on the streets, Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo said calls for service on a daily basis have slowly been dropping in Buffalo.
"Our arrests are definitely down as well and for the most part we are not seeing any real issues with crime," Rinaldo said.
Mayor Brown says street parking at meters and in all Buffalo civic auto ramps remains free until further notice. He admits there will be a substantial hit to city coffers, but Brown says all businesses and many residents are also facing substantial hits to their income and ability to support themselves.
"We are in an emergency right now and the city is doing everything that it can to relieve that stress and financial pressure on our residents. We will continue to do that because the health and safety of our residents right now is our number one priority. The economics of the city, while we're concerned about it, that is not our number one priority right now," Brown said.