With the termination of the State of Local Emergency (SOLE) on June 1st, 2020, Drumheller Town Council is releasing the total amount invested in the prevention of COVID 19 infections in the valley during the SOLE period.
The municipality, under the guidance from the Provincial and Federal governments as well as the World Health Organization, took the necessary steps to establish the Director of Emergency Management role, the Drumheller Emergency Management Agency, the Emergency Operations Centre, the Economic First Aid Program, physical barriers, communications for residents, and much more. As of today, those costs amount to approximately $192.00 per person.
"At the end of the day, we did our very best to ensure that we took the right actions to protect the health and safety of our community," said Mayor Colberg. "Having had zero cases of COVID 19 to date, is an achievement that the DEM, DEMA, everyone at the EOC, and all the residents of Drumheller who followed the safety protocols, should be proud of."
The Director of Emergency Management (DEM) and Drumheller Emergency Management Agency (DEMA) knew that the Town of Drumheller was unique for a number of different reasons and required a unique response. These included:
- The Royal Tyrrell Museum and our surrounding Badlands see thousands of visitors every year from tourists outside of our region. We needed to protect the community and the reputation of the Town as a safe place to visit.
- Our population is on average, older than the average town's population in Alberta. Because this community was at higher risk of becoming infected, additional measures needed to be taken.
- The Drumheller Institution, by nature of what it does, is at higher risk of infection. As well, its employees travel in and out of the Town of Drumheller on a daily basis.
Town Council committed to protecting the health and safety of community in Drumheller and its unique needs.
On June 1, 2020 Council cancelled the State of Local Emergency (SOLE). Since then administration was able to calculate the total investment for the COVID 19 Response Plan during the SOLE period and it has amounted to $192.00 per person or a total of $1,541,700.00.
As with other communities, we are lobbying for Disaster Relief Funding from the Provincial Government. Regardless of the Town's success in receiving this funding, through years of sound financial management, Drumheller is well positioned to finance this additional expense through its reserves. Council committed to residents when the SOLE was launched that it would do everything it could to protect the safety and wellbeing of the community. Part of that commitment was to protect the community without raising taxes in 2020 more than the 1.9% increase already budgeted in January of 2020, prior to the COVID 19 global pandemic.
"Remembering that our work as a council is not done and is ever evolving as we respond to this health crisis, is essential. Great learning has come from this, and it is something we have not seen in Drumheller since the Spanish Flu. This experience has been transformative in how we prepare for future emergencies.
We understand this crisis has had an immense impact on families and businesses across our community, and we are with you every step of the way.
We are grateful for the strong support we had from so many people in our community, thank you to all of you," said Mayor Colberg.
For more information on the COVID 19 Response Plan Financial Summary, please visit https://floodreadiness.drumheller.ca/covid-19/.
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