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RMWB Council continue its advocacy for local dispatch services

PHOTO. RMWB Mayor Don Scott and Fire Chief Jody Butz call on residents to petition local MLAs and Health Minister Tyler Shandro asking for the reversal of Alberta's decision to consolidate emergency dispatch services across the province. MYMCMURRAY/File.

Mayor and Councillors reinforced their advocacy for local EMS dispatch services.

This followed the province’s announcement on Aug. 4, 2020, of the consolidation of remaining municipal dispatch services under Alberta Health Services.

RELATED: Wood Buffalo first responders call on Alberta to reverse decision on consolidation

Fire Chief Jody Butz said the region’s time-based metric for emergency dispatch exceeds provincial averages.

He added they received support from First Nations and M├ętis communities, mutual-aid and industry partners, and Local HERO Foundation.

RMWB Council carried the motion unanimously to continue advocacy against consolidation.

Mayor Don Scott said residents sent over 2000 letters of support to Health Minister Tyler Shandro, and local MLAs Laila Goodridge and Tany Yao.

Residents may submit letters of support through the Municipality’s website.

Financial report

RMWB Council also approved the Q2 2020 Financial Performance Report.

The Municipality’s operating revenues to June 30 are $309.2-million, and expenses are $211.6-million.

“As of June 30, 2020, $38-million has been spent on the continued delivery of capital projects. Two projects, Rural Water/Sewer Servicing and the Snow Disposal Site construction make up 42 per cent of this spend.”

In the quarter, the Municipality said there is no drawn debt owing and no committed undrawn debt.

The RMWB spent $1.2-million on COVID-19-related expenses.

Mayor and Councillors also approved an update on the second quarter’s Budget Fiscal Amendments.

RMWB Councillor Krista Balsom received the endorsement of the Municipality to stand for re-election to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ (FCM) Board of Directors.

Mayor and Councillors voted unanimously in support of the endorsement.

If elected to the FCM Board, her term would run to June 2021.

RMWB Council debated the possibility of a bylaw calling for mandatory masking in public spaces.