Release: March 23rd 2020 Town of Nanton Office
NANTON, AB (March 23rd 2020) – _Over the course of last week, the Town took significant steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection among its staff, elected officials and the general public. Our offices are now closed to the public and will remain so until further notice.
Has an Emergency Coordination Centre (ECC) been Activated in Nanton?
No. We are not close to requiring activation of the ECC or declaring a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) – _the event does not yet meet the criteria for a SOLE, especially as emergency powers are not yet required to bring community elements into compliance with Alberta Health directives/ guidelines. This could change at any time, however, and the members of the Nanton Emergency Management Agency have been contacted and advised of their potential role. Barry Sturrock, the Director Emergency Management, is currently preparing for that potential eventuality.
Nanton.ca/387 or https://www.nanton.ca/387/COVID-19-and-Emergency-Management will take you to our main information page.
Does Nanton Quality of Life (FCSS) have a role?
Yes, they are a required member of the Nanton Emergency Management Agency as Emergency Social Services (ESS) would initially be their key liaison role in the event of ECC activation. Their Executive Director, Jennifer Herman, today advised the Town that they are staying in close communication with the local Food Bank.
What actions has the Town Taken?
- The Tom Hornecker Recreation Centre closed early on March 15th;
- The Town Office was closed the the public March 19th
- A COVID-19/Emergency Management page has been created on the Town website;
- Municipal and LRSD playgrounds have been closed to the public;
- Key provincial information is being circulated through the Town website and on social media• Council and staff are currently being prepared for remote work and remote meeting participation. Interdepartmental meetings have been scaled back to reduce risks.
- Utilities: Chemicals, supplies and reagents have been ordered in sufficient quantity to eliminate supply chain problems.
This is a fast-moving situation and we do appreciate the ptience of our residents at this time.
This is a unique event and there are numerous possibilities, but at present the following items may cover some issues of concern out there.
1) Any health or essential service worker who wishes to park an RV in front of their home to keep them separate from the rest of their household can contact the Town for a flexible permit from the CAO (to avoid worry over bylaw enforcement complaints). We ask that you do request a permit if considering this given current concerns about out-of-town individuals temporarily relocating to small towns and rural areas in RVs to avoid COVID-19 spread, potentially bringing it with them.
2) Council meetings will continue at present on their normal schedule with tele and web conferencing available to all of Council and administration. At present, the public cannot be legally excluded. This will be reviewed as advice changes. Administration will consider live or recorded meeting streaming.
3) Administration will bring forth an omnibus bylaw for Council consideration that will contain a package of utility bill, interest and penalty forgiveness/ deferral measures given the economic climate caused by the situation. Municipalities are still waiting to see if any measures with respect to property taxation, interest and penalties will be recommended or required by the Province.
4) Activation of the ECC and declaration of a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) may come if senior government authorities require the Town to compel particular actions within the community if public health measures at present prove insufficient or are ignored.
1. Barry Sturrock
Director of Emergency Management
Phone: (403) 646-2902
2. Neil Smith
Deputy Director of Emergency Management
Phone: 1-877-365-3901 (Toll Free)
Message from the Mayor
The Town of Nanton has actively been putting out information about COVID-19 on our website, social media and through the Nanton News. We recognize that not everyone has access to this information and want to ensure that all of our residents are kept up to date with this situation. We will be posting updates on bulletin boards around town and forwarding communications meant to be printed , shared and posted on bulletin boards with residents of the Silver Willow Lodge, the health clinic and Madison Manor. If you have further suggestions on how we can reach more people, please let us know.
At this time there are no reported cases of COVID 19 in Nanton.
First off, I want to thank all of our health care providers who are working around the clock to keep our residents safe and healthy. Thank you also to Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw, who has been a stable voice of information and direction for Alberta residents. Please continue to watch her updates for the most accurate and up to date recommendations.
The Town has taken quick and decisive action to close all of our facilities to the public. This includes the THRC, the community centre, the Town Office and the library. We have also closed all playgrounds around town as these are easy ways to transmit the virus. The Town is still available to assist you over email or phone 403-646-2029. We are committed to continue to deliver all core services to our residents and have developed contingency plans for staff in the case that some may not be able to work. We always welcome your suggestions, on how to serve our Town throughout this time, everything is on the table right now, this is new territory for all of us.
Council will continue to meet and as for now the council meeting will remain open to the public (as per the Municipal Government Act). We are developing plans and systems for councilors to call in via video conferencing for meetings and will be ensuring that at any given time we have no more than four councilors physically present at a meeting and social distancing recommendations will be followed at the council table. The remaining councilors will call into the meeting.
All committee meetings have been suspended until the end of June. The next scheduled council meeting is not until April 6 at 7pm.
Council believes it is still important for us to meet and continue to make decisions. Decisions around COVID-19 and everyday decisions that we were already working on. Some may seem frivolous during this time, but we do want to have things lined up for the town when things return back to normal and hit the ground running, not be playing catch up.
The Town and Council will be discussing options for utility and property tax deferrals to assist our residents and businesses during this time.
We are all in this together and every single one of you has a serious role during this pandemic. First and foremost, you need to act as though you already have the virus and avoid all social interactions. This is extremely serious and none of us know if we have this virus or not, some may never show symptoms. It is best you stay at home and limit your outings to only essential needs. If you are feeling sick at all, DO NOT leave your property for any reason. If you need supplies ask your friends, family members or neighbours to assist you. Please keep an eye out on your neighbours during this time. There are many ways we can help each other without physical contact. Leave notes on their door asking them if they need help, leave your phone number on the note so they can now contact you. Pick up supplies for your neighbours and leave them on their doorstep.
I also want to thank all of our Nanton businesses, they are the heartbeat of our town and they need our support now more than ever. To the ones that have already closed, we thank-you. To the ones that have closed their dining rooms but are now offering pick-up and delivery options, we thank-you. To the ones still operating and providing essential products to our residents, we thank-you. Please as you are at home consider how you can support our local businesses now and throughout this. I am grateful that we have pretty much everything we need in this town and there should be no reason to have to leave Nanton.
One final last thank-you to our management team CAO Neil Smith, Director of Corporate service Clayton Gillespie and our Operations Manager, Barry Sturrock for working around the clock navigating this new and every evolving reality. Thank you for keeping our residents safe and informed throughout this. To our essential staff (which is each and everyone), whether you are now working from home or keeping our drinking water safe or clearing our streets of snow or maintaining the THRC we so appreciate all that you do for us and recognize the services and sacrifice you are making for the Town and it’s residents.
Stay home. Stay safe. Watch out for your Neighbours. Shop Local.