During the meeting, Council was introduced to the new Director of Emergency and Protective Services, Phyllis Forsyth. The Director comes to Fox Creek with an extensive resume, including time with the Rocky Mountain House Search and Rescue, EMT-A with Specialty Medical Services in Rocky Mountain House, Nordegg Volunteer Fire Department, as well as Nordegg Ambulance as a volunteer. She has had firsthand experience being on one of the first ground search teams after the Pine Lake Tornado (2000), the Clearwater Fires (2001), the Clearwater floods and anthrax of 2002, as well as the Big Valley stage collapse in 2009.
The Director of Emergency and Protective services also reported to Council the proactive steps being taken during the COVID-19 pandemic. Steps include, the creation of a staff committee, closing facilities, development of Business Continuity Plans, as well as communications with staff and the community.
The Chief Administrative Officer briefly discussed the Municipal Library construction project. Construction continues while the facility is closed and is still expected to be completed by the end of April.
Council motioned for the closure of the Administration and Public works buildings to the public, with exceptions to those with appointments. Staff will remain working and will still be available to take calls. People are encouraged to utilize online payment options or phone the office at 780-622-3896. Administration will also be looking into options to ensure the safety of staff at the Landfill and Transfer Station.
Council has also directed Administration to place “Playground CLOSED” signs at our community’s parks to further help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The virus reportedly survives for long periods on metal surfaces and cleanliness of the structures can not be guaranteed. For the safety of the community, the Town requests that all residents avoid attending any of the local parks and instead go for walks or find alternate outdoor activities, always keeping social distancing in mind.
A motion to waive all utility penalties for the months of March to May has also been made. During this time the 2% penalties will waived to help provide relief to residents. However, it is important to keep in mind that penalties will continue for any outstanding balances starting June 1, 2020.