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City of Lethbridge urges against gas hoarding during COVID-19 pandemic

City of Lethbridge urges against gas hoarding during COVID-19 pandemic
WATCH ABOVE: Reports of gas hoarding, changes to waste and recycling centre hours and provincial COVID-19 relief grant information were all addressed during Wednesday’s pandemic response update from the City of Lethbridge. Tom Roulston has the details.

The City of Lethbridge delivered its latest COVID-19 response update on Wednesday, and the chief fire marshal had a stern message for anyone opting to take advantage of low gas prices by filling up more than just their vehicle.

“Approved gasoline containers are a must and it’s not an option,” said Heath Wright.

The fire prevention bureau said it has received reports of gas hoarding in the community, adding nobody should be storing more than 30 litres of fuel on their property.

“We’d like to get in front of the issue right away,” Wright said.

READ MORE: ‘Staring down a recession’: Experts say gas price drop expected to leave dent in Alberta economy

On Wednesday, the city also urged its residents to only make essential visits to the waste and recycling centre.

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It will now be closed on Saturdays and will only accept essential loads of waste Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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“We’re going to remain in the winter hours,” said Joel Sanchez, the city’s waste and recycling services general manager.

“We usually go, starting April 1, into summer hours, which is 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. We are going to keep the same winter hours until at least the end of April.”

Until further notice, residents should also avoid disposing of things like tires, batteries, oil and other hazardous materials, electronics, scrap metal, large and small appliances, mattresses and furniture.

READ MORE: Saskatchewan municipalities keeping close eye on waste collection amid COVID-19

In addition to these warnings and service changes, the city has put out a call for community organizations to submit applications for provincial COVID-19 relief funding.

The Alberta government is providing $30 million to organizations that provide help to the vulnerable.

The city has been working with its community partners to identify areas of need, developing more than a dozen subcommittees for things like food services and housing.

READ MORE: Alberta MLAs to be called back to legislature Tuesday to debate COVID-19 legislation

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“We want a really fast turnaround,” said Pamela Beebe with the city’s Community Pandemic Social Supports Response Team.

“I have put out there that we want them (the applications) by Friday end of (the) day.”

Those applications must be submitted to Lethbridge Family Community Social Services, which will then be forwarded to the province for consideration.