At this time, our Town and surrounding County and reserve have not been affected by the Covis-19 Virus. We will continue to be healthy if we, individually practice the proper social distancing and if we self-isolate when returning to the community from travels abroad. Please stay at home as much as possible and keep your children and family safe.
Today, I will address the measures Mayor and Council are working toward approving at our upcoming meeting to give some local relief to those directly affected by this Covid-19 issue.
We are aware of the serious impact the stringent government measures are having on businesses and their employees, as well as on the working population in our Town. Some of our local businesses had to shut their doors, lay off employees and/or radically reduce their services. Many of our residents find themselves out of work due to this Covid-19 crisis. The situation is dire and we want to offer some financial help
Here are three measures that Council put in place in addition to the announced federal and provincial relief measures.
1) Town Council has put in place the option to defer payments on municipal utilities such as water, sewer, garbage and recycling for the next three months without penalty.
2) Town Council has approved waiving the July 1 penalty on property taxes. This means that home owners and business owners can take until September 30 to pay their taxes without penalty.
3) Town Council is planning to take funding from our reserved funds to apply to our 2020 budget to reverse the planned tax increase. We will collect the same amount of taxes in 2020 as we did in 2019 and most homes should not see any tax increase depending on any changes to their home value in the last year.
We hope that landlords will also do their part in passing on these relief measures to their renters.
Please note that these are only deferrals. The amount owing will still need to be repaid. Everyone needs to plan carefully how to pay their bills either now, or when the deferral comes due. Town Administration is still working on the details to present to Council at our April 14 meeting.
These relief measures are there to help those who find themselves in financial difficult times due to loss of business or employment. Our best advice is for those concerned to pay as much as they can on their bills to avoid the excessive financial burden at the end of the deferral period.
I also wish to speak on the impact of the Covid -19 on the use of our Parks. Up to now, the use of children playgrounds was possible. With the new understanding of the Covid-19 transmission through surfaces, it is impossible to keep our parks disinfected every time someone touches a bench, a table, or playground equipment. To keep our population safe, all parks will be closed to the public starting immediately. Please keep your children safe.
We are keeping in touch with our partners at the Blood Tribe Department of Health and Cardston County to ensure there is a community approach to this pandemic and protect the most vulnerable in all of our populations. We want all of us to practice social distancing and keep everyone safe and healthy.
Together we can do our best to keep the virus at bay. Follow the AHS links and check our website for updates at www.cardston.ca . Thank you.