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Council allocates additional funding to Community Plan on Homelessness, defers Municipal property tax payments and will send letters to Federal and Provincial governments

(Fort McMurray, AB – April 16, 2020) – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB) Council approved further measures at Tuesday’s Council meeting that will support the region’s response and help manage the impacts to residents, business owners and the social profit sector.

The new measures include allocating additional federal funding for programs supporting individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness, deferring Municipal property tax payments until September 2020 and waiving penalties on deferred payments until October 1, 2020. Council also authorize Mayor Don Scott to write letters of support to different levels of government for HWY 63 construction projects and the Fort McMurray International Airport.

Community Plan on Homelessness

On Tuesday, Council voted in favour of allocating $744,997 to the 2020-2021 Community Plan on Homelessness, with $413,798 assigned to the Indigenous Stream and $331,289 for the Designate Stream. Funding will be provided to the following programs:

  • $118,254 – Governing Council of the Salvation Army in Canada for their Shelter and Isolation Centre Diversion Program
  • $130,252 – Wood Buffalo Wellness Society for their Outreach Program
  • $16,940 – Wood Buffalo Wellness Society for Pandemic Supports
  • $459,298 – Wood Buffalo Wellness Society for their Rapid Re-Housing Program
  • $20,254 – YMCA of Northern Alberta for Pandemic Supports

This additional funding to programs within the Community Plan on Homelessness will help support individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness in the region, who are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. 

Municipal property tax payments

Property owners in the region now have the option to defer Municipal property tax payments until September 30, 2020. This tax deferral applies to all tax classes in the region with the exception of designated industrial properties.

Council also voted to defer penalties on property tax payments from July 1 to October 1, 2020 and waive all further penalties on property tax payments for the remainder of the year.

Tax notices will be sent out at the end of May, as per the usual schedule, but property owners will have the ability to defer payment of their tax amounts. Residents and businesses are encouraged to pay their property taxes before September 30, if able to do so.

Pre-authorized payment withdrawals will continue as normal. Should you wish to discontinue pre-authorized payments at this time, please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000 or 1-800-973-9663.

Letters of Support

Council also voted to send letters of support to other levels of government to advocate for the Fort McMurray International Airport and Provincial construction projects within the Urban Service Area.

Council has now authorized Mayor Don Scott to send a letter to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Alberta and the Federal and Provincial Ministers of Transportation, supporting the request for financial relief for the Fort McMurray International Airport. Mayor Don Scott will also send a letter to the Minister of Transportation, members of the Legislative Assembly and the Premier of Alberta requesting work be undertaken to rehabilitate Highway 63.

For more information, please contact Pulse at 780-743-7000, 1-800-973-9663 or visit rmwb.ca/Covid19.

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