By Justin Seward
The Town of Bow Island council passed an updated pandemic influenza plan at its March 23 meeting.
The influenza plan includes following the receipt of information of a pandemic influenza outbreak from Alberta Health Services that necessitates the activation of the Pandemic Influenza Annex to the Municipal Emergency Plan, the EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) shall be activated to the degree necessary to support the municipal response through a checklist.
The Bow Island EOC group will be called upon to establish and maintain a presence at the EOC to coordinate service delivery of their resources.
The degree of EOC and emergency planning will be determined by the support of AHS.
It will be under the guidance of the director of emergency management or the deputy director of emergency management the municipal response should be coordinated and ensures the other necessary components of the Municipal Emergency Plan are included to respond to a pandemic.
The plan states that “Activities such as making the declaration of a state of emergency, providing disaster social services and providing municipal support to health care facilities, long term care centres, seniors homes and environmental health will be carried out as deemed appropriate and already described in the Municipal Emergency Plan.”
“We’re having daily meetings with our emergency management committee for updates to stay on top of things, but until AHS reaches out to us and says they need our help (and) our resources,we just simply take direction from them on the pandemic plan, “ said Bow Island Mayor Gordon Reynolds.
Council also passed a Business Continuity Plan.
“We have to focus on core services and we’ve gone through and looked at every aspect at what we do and identify things as being desired services. That’s the one we’re actively working with right now in the potential we have staff that become sick; part of that is giving direction to the staff how we are operating to prevent people from getting ill in the office, “ said Reynolds.
The town has taken preventative measure by closing the office to the public and taking appointments only in effort to slow public traffic through the office building.
Reynolds says many of the office staff have been working at home on a rotation.
Public works staff are also taking measures by taking keeping their distance from each other and not meeting in small, confined rooms.
If someone needs to make a payment, there will be someone in the town office all day long answering the phone as well as online payment options through the town’s website.
Permits can be issues through appointment as well.
Public hearing postponement
Council voted to postpone the public hearing for the Intermunicipal Development Plan shared with the County of Forty Mile. The IDP gives municipalities the opportunity to manage a land use and do address growth issues between neighbouring communities.
Bow Island council approved the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework (ICF) with the County of Forty Mile. The ICF gives ways to collaborate with other municipalities that will benefit the residents of both communities through the enhancement of services and cost efficiencies. Areas covered were water and wasterwater, transportation, solid waste, protective/ emergency services, recreation, land and planning development services, corporate services,environmental services, agriculture services and other services.
The town will not apply penalties to utility payments or do any disconnects for all accounts in business or residential for 90 days and is effective March 31.
The annual Troy Loney memorial golf tournament has been postponed until June 2021.
The splash committee will continue to have discussions on the location and design for the Kale Porteous Memorial Splash Park.
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