Everett Drops Plastic Bag Ban, Bus Fares, Late Fees On Utilities

March 25, 2020


In an Everett City Council meeting held with all of the council members in remote locations, three emergency ordinances were presented by the City administration and approved by council members. Here’s the rundown.

Everett City Council today approved three emergency actions to help mitigate the health, safety and financial impacts of COVID-19:

1). A civil emergency order temporarily exempting Everett retail establishments from Everett’s Reusable Bag Ordinance;

2). An emergency ordinance temporarily waiving Everett Transit fares;

3). An emergency ordinance to waive or defer certain utility late fees and shutoffs for non-payment.

Retailers may provide single-use carryout bags

Citing undue hardship on retail establishments and potential health hazards for retail employees, the emergency order allows Everett retail establishments to provide customers single-use plastic carryout bags and does not require retailers to charge customers for carryout bags. Effective immediately until April 22, 2020 (or earlier by mayoral order), Everett retailers are exempt from Everett’s Reusable Bag Ordinance which went into effect Sept. 30, 2019. Customers may still bring their own bags while shopping in most retail establishments, but may be asked by retailers to use self-checkout or bag their own purchases.

Everett Transit goes fare free

For the duration of the COVID-19 Civil Emergency, Everett Transit will waive transit fares for fixed-route and paratransit service. By not collecting fares, Everett Transit drivers are better able to maintain adequate social distancing between drivers and passengers. Additionally, the ordinance assists Everett Transit passengers experiencing financial hardship due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.

Certain utility late fees waived and no shutoffs for non-payment

COVID-19’s economic impacts include layoffs, lost wages and the inability to pay for basic household expenses, including utility costs. For the duration of the COVID-19 Civil Emergency, Everett Public Works is authorized to waive or defer certain utility late fees and shutoffs on a temporary or permanent basis, and the City will not shut off any utility service to any customer for reason of non-payment for utility charges.
Read the full emergency ordinance.

Visit everettwa.gov/COVID19 for up-to-date information on City operations and response, program cancellations and closures, as well as additional resources and information.


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