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Didsbury council approves financial relief measures

Payment deferrals, extensions and waivers offered during COVID-19 pandemic

DIDSBURY - Council has passed a number of financial relief measures for Didsbury taxpayers and stakeholders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is having significant impact in Didsbury and around the world,” states an administration briefing note council considered during its April 6 special council meeting. “In response to this, administration has considered different options to put in place regarding potential deferrals of utility and tax payments in order to provide immediate relief support to our residents and business owners.”

Council approved all of administration’s financial relief recommendations.

Property owners will now be able to defer utility payments for April, May and June 2020.

Council has approved waiving all non-sufficient fund (NSF) charges for the 90-day period beginning April 1.

As well, it has suspending all public auctions until 2021.

The tax notice payment period has been extended to 90 days from the time the tax notices are issued.

Council has approved waiving the 2.5 per cent administration fee for those paying taxes by credit card for the 2020 tax year.

And the town will also be waiving the 1.5 per cent penalty charge for account receivables for 90 days.

• COVID-19 UPDATE: Follow our COVID-19 special section and interactive map for the latest local and national news on the coronavirus pandemic, as well as resources, FAQs and more.

During the meeting, council also passed a number of measures related to COVID-19 and social distancing.

Members re-affirmed the closure of all playgrounds; closing Rosebud Valley Campground; closing the porta-potties at Memorial Park; limiting the dog park to two people; and closing sports fields to all group activities.

The special council meeting was held via video conference using ZOOM.

During the meeting, council heard reports from Ethan Gorner, Didsbury’s chief administrative officer and several other staff members mostly about the town's procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Rhonda Hunter said the meeting through ZOOM went quite well.

"The ZOOM video conference was very effective and accommodated our needs for audio and video for council and the administrative team," said Hunter. "As well, we had audio access for citizens wanting to listen in. With the right device, citizens could also see the video stream."

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