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RMWB Council meets to hear COVID-19 updates

PHOTO. RMWB Council chambers from the interim location at the Syncrude Athletic Park Clubhouse on Jan. 28, 2020. MYMCMURRAY/Phil Wood.

The RMWB Council meeting on March 24 is going digital.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the RMWB will stream the council meeting online via teleconference.

Residents planning on speaking to items at Council must pre-register with the Municipality.

More information on the teleconference is available on the Municipality’s website.

Mayor and Councillors shall hear an update from the Municipality’s Director of Emergency Management, Scott Davis.

This will be the first meeting since Mayor Don Scott declared a state of local emergency on March 20.

Kevin Weidlich, CEO of the Wood Buffalo Economic Development Corporation, shall present on federal and provincial aid packages.

Council will also hear from the RMWB’s Director of Community Services, Deanne Bergey on how COVID-19 affects the social profit sector.

The administration will also recommend a deferral on payments for utilities to July 2020, and that the RMWB not apply outstanding penalties from March to August.

Wood Buffalo residents have concerns for the homeless population in light of the pandemic.

RMWB Council shall discuss the 2020-2021 Community Plan on Homelessness and the grant allocation.

If approved, the grant would give $3,901,653 to eight different housing initiatives.

The Centre of Hope, the Salvation Army, Wood Buffalo Wellness Society, and YMCA of Northern Alberta support various housing plans in Wood Buffalo.

Most of the plans shall receive their requested amounts from both federal and provincial governments, but not all.

The Centre of Hope Non-Profit Society operates its Eviction Prevention Program.

It requested $118,283, but would only receive $64,163 from the province.

The Governing Council of the Salvation Army in Canada will also see a deficit in its Housing First program.

They would only receive $567,423 of the $687,720 requested for 2020-2021.

The decrease in funding for homeless may be as a result of reduced carry-forward amounts from previous years.

RMWB Council meets on March 24 at 4:00 p.m.