By Justin Seward
Cypress County Reeve Dan Hamilton gave an update on the COVID-19 impact this far on the municipality on Thursday.
“It has been just under two months since we’ve activated our Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our community. The health and the safety of our residents continue to be our top priority,” said Hamilton.
“During these uncertain times, county council has committed to sustain the ‘Cypress County Advantage’”
Some county highlights include a reduced residential tax rate of one per cent and a freeze of the non-residential tax rate, which was expected to increase 12 per cent and meant the county still has the lowest rate in the province.
“We’ve also been working hard to implement measures to support residents and businesses who may be struggling financially throughout this pandemic,” said Hamilton.
The municipality has allowed for all current and outstanding taxes to have no late penalty until Dec. 1.
“This allows an additional five months to pay penalty free,” said Hamilton.
“In addition, residents have the option of deferring utility payments for the month of April, May and June without penalties. Cypress County continues to support local community associations and organizations with grant contributions of $1,250,000.”
Council has committed to supporting vulnerable populations by implementing the “Go for Groceries” Program. Staff will deliver the persons’ grocery request to their door.
“We recognize there may be residents who may not have the support of other family members or neighbours to pickup groceries on their behalf,” he said.
Hamilton ended his update by saying “As we look to the future, we are preparing infrastructure and amenities for an eventual return to our new normal.”
“Staff across the organization are developing plans for how we will deliver programs and services. We know this will be a phased approach and will continue to follow the guidance provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.”