St. Albert city council approves COVID-19 recovery concept plan

St. Albert city council has taken its formal first step towards creating a comprehensive COVID-19 recovery plan. Vinesh Pratap/ Global News

St. Albert city council says it has taken its formal first step towards creating a comprehensive COVID-19 recovery plan.

On Monday, the city announced on its website that council has approved a COVID-19 recovery concept plan.

“Even though the city is in the response phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative to begin actively planning for the recovery phase,” the news release reads.

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The city said it is working on a plan that aims to see St. Albert adopt “new ways of service delivery that contribute to long-term recovery and future sustainability that reflect a post COVID-19 operating environment” and also see the community emerge from the pandemic with recognition for being “one of the best communities in Canada.”

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The city plans to establish a COVID-19 recovery task force advisory committee that includes business and community leaders. Both the task force and the concept plan will be funded through the $2 million that city council has already earmarked for its pandemic response.

Capital projects

During Monday’s city council meeting, St. Albert councillors also discussed the future of the city’s capital projects and decided to recommend that almost all projects in their design phases proceed.

“Projects currently in the construction phase, if deemed essential, were given careful consideration before recommended to proceed,” the city said. “All projects in design that require public consultation would be able to proceed through online public participation at this time.”

In all, council decided to continue with 130 municipal capital projects as well as approving 45 utility capital projects.

However, city council also deferred 36 municipal capital projects as well as 14 utility capital projects. Some of the deferrals are until June 30 or Sept. 30 while others were put off until 2021.

“These projects will be reassessed at that point,” the city said.

Council presented with various scenarios regarding COVID-19’s financial impact

The city said Monday that its administration had presented three different financial scenarios that explored the impact of reopening various facilities that were closed because of COVID-19, and the effect it could have on the city’s budget.

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READ MORE: Coronavirus: Edmonton, Strathcona County and St. Albert closing public recreation centres

If city facilities that are currently closed until May 31 because of the pandemic reopen at that time, the city estimates a deficit of about $4.6 million.

If closures extend until June 30, the city estimates a deficit of about $5.6 million.

“The financial impacts spill over into 2021 for a longer time, with revenue declines expected until March 2021,” the city said.

“Based on COVID-19 restrictions lasting longer than anticipated, whereby closures extend until Oct. 1, the city estimates a deficit of approximately $7 million.”

Watch below: Some Global News videos about the financial fallout caused by COVID-19 in Alberta.


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