The City of Red Deer’s focus over the past number of weeks has been and will continue to be virus mitigation. News today from Alberta certainly highlights the need for continued efforts to reduce the spread.
“I was saddened today to learn of Alberta’s first death as a result of COVID-19,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “On behalf of city council, administration and all Red Deerians, I want to express my deepest sympathies to this individual’s family and loved ones.”
As part of the ongoing response to COVID-19, The City announced today customers can defer water, sewer and waste utility payments for 90 days with no penalties if they are struggling to pay their bills.
Recognizing that many citizens in Red Deer may be experiencing significant economic impacts stemming from the COVID-19 situation, residential, farm and small commercial customers can defer their utility payment for water, sewer and waste for the next 90 days. If a customer defers payment, no penalties will be applied.
Customers who need to defer their water, sewer and waste collection payment for up to the next 90 days are asked to call The City’s Call Centre at 403-342-8111 to make the necessary arrangements. These will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
With limited services available at City Hall, customers are encouraged to pay bills online or by phone (www.reddeer.ca/mycity or 403-342-8203). For our residential, farm and small commercial customers who can still make their regular water, sewer and waste collection payment, but for whatever reason, the payment is late, no new penalties will apply after March 19, 2020.
The city has also made progress on its response related to housing and social supports for vulnerable populations in our community. At this time, a temporary space is secured at Cannery Row (4946 53 Avenue), with costs that will be covered by the Government of Alberta. Emergency zoning will remain in place for a period of six months, in alignment with our state of local emergency (SOLE). Cannery Row will be used as an overnight and daytime warming centre.
The current warming centre will continue to serve as the queuing space for the Overdose Prevention Site (OPS). Detox will remain in the current Safe Harbour space.
“As we continue to navigate through this situation, we are committed to maintaining essential services for Red Deerians, and ensuring all members of our community are being taken care of,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “We are monitoring the situation daily and will continue to make decisions that best suit the needs of the community, while protecting citizens.”
Other changes announced today include:
- Suspensions of parking fees in the downtown until further notice. This includes metered parking and daily lots. We are currently exploring options related to monthly lots and will be communicating directly with monthly pass holders.
- We are redeploying traffic enforcement in ways that respond to current needs. Residents must still abide by speed limits and traffic safety measures. Automated traffic enforcement measures will be increasingly used in high risk and playground areas in an effort to protect those who are using our park spaces and playgrounds.
- We are reviewing current Transit operations and anticipate making an announcement regarding potential service changes within the next few days.
We strongly encourage all citizens to follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services. For the latest information on COVID-19 visit alberta.ca/covid19 and the latest on how City services are impacted visit reddeer.ca/covid19. Please call the Call Centre, open 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. with questions at 403-342-8111.