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County prepared to keep essential services running

Scott Seaman Sports Rink closed effective March 16, and the municipal building will be closed to public.
Suzanne Oel 0482
Foothills County Reeve Suzanne Oel said the municipality is ensuring its essential services like water, wastewater, roads and fire are maintained during isolation and closures. (BRENT CALVER/Western Wheel)

Foothills County is taking measures to protect its residents and ensure essential services continue operating.

As of March 16, Scott Seaman Sports Arena is closed until further notice, and the Crescent Point Regional Field House will also be closed.

In addition, the municipal building may be closed to the public, and residents are encouraged to check the County’s website for updates prior to visiting the office.

“We’re learning from other countries – they wish they would have done certain things sooner to flatten the curve of the outbreak,” said Reeve Suzanne Oel. “As this evolves, we’re preparing.”

She said the County has learned many lessons from dealing with crises in the past, including floods, fires and severe storms. The COVID-19 outbreak means things are changing daily, but the municipality is working to ensure its essential services continue.

Those services include water and wastewater in its communities, fire department response and road maintenance, she said.

“Our staff do plan to continue to work on all other types of files within our organization as well,” said Oel.

She said many County departments are working on health directives for their staff in order to continue business but making sure people have the opportunity to work remotely when possible.

“As new levels of isolation are coming forward from the recommendations from the Province we’re going to be undertaking those precautions,” said Oel.

Council was not scheduled to meet March 18 due to a planned Rural Municipality Association conference, which has since been cancelled. Its next scheduled meeting is March 25, and Oel said options are being considered on how to proceed with council business in case mandates for the size of groups change.

For the most part, she said the County is going with the flow and monitoring how the outbreak looks in the province.

“Alberta is a resilient and sturdy population, so we hope that our outcomes will be better than some of the other locations on the planet,” said Oel. “It’s a time of concern. It’s a time when we want to be thoughtful and have information out to our residents.

“We’re hearing organizations facing loss of business and people facing illness, so we’re hoping to just encourage everyone being creative and their ideas of how to support one another but maybe just not in person at this time.”

She said the County website will be updated regularly with news about COVID-19 as well as information on the municipality’s ongoing response.

For more information visit www.mdfoothills.com

Krista Conrad, OkotoksToday.ca




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Krista Conrad

About the Author: Krista Conrad

Krista Conrad is the news reporter for Okotokstoday.ca and the Western Wheel newspaper covering Okotoks and Foothills County. For story tips contact kconrad@okotoks.greatwest.ca
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