June 2020 Newsletter
Greetings Ward 14!
It remains pretty difficult to keep this column current while writing it one month in advance—for obvious reasons. The world is changing rapidly. So what I will do first is remind you that there are three websites that are a good place to start if you are looking government-related COVID-19 information. Calgary.ca/covid19 is the place to find City of Calgary information, alberta.ca/covid19 is the place to find Provincial information, and canada.ca/covid19 is the place for Federal info.
Here are some other topics that you can read more about in the online version of this column at calgary.ca/ward14newsletter.
COVID-19 municipal property tax relief information
The City has approved some municipal property tax relief measures in response to the challenges of COVID-19. Here are two municipal property tax relief measures to provide added you flexibility:
Tax payment deadline extended to September 30
The tax payment deadline for 2020 property tax has been extended from June 30 to September 30 without a 7% late payment penalty, providing flexibility during these difficult times. A penalty of 7% will be added to any unpaid balance on October 1.
Budget wisely, join TIPP filing fee-free
The Tax Instalment Payment Plan (TIPP) filing fee has been suspended for 2020. Join TIPP to make budgeting easier or cancel TIPP to increase your immediate cash flow.
It is a definite possibility that you are spending more time at home than you typically would in June. It is also a definite possibility you are using more water than normal as a result.
Calgary is a big city on two small rivers that are impacted by a growing population and a changing climate. During the summer, your water use can jump by 30-40 per cent because of outdoor watering activities. This increased demand places a strain on our rivers and treatment plants.
A beautiful yard that thrives in Calgary’s climate and conserving water go hand-in-hand. Save water, money and time by adopting a few simple YardSmart tips:
- Having a good depth of quality soil ensures your plants can access more water. A layer of at least six to eight inches of good quality soil is recommended.
- Adding compost to your soil is the best way to improve it.
- Choose plants that thrive in Calgary’s climate. For Calgary, choose plants labelled Hardiness Zone 2 or 3.
- Add pollinator-friendly plants to your garden. Flowering plants and agricultural crops rely on pollinators, such as bees. Invite these powerhouses into your yard by planting a variety of white, yellow, blue and purple native flowers that bloom in all seasons. Avoid pesticides because they can’t discriminate between pests and beneficial insects.
- Capture free rain water in a rain barrel and use it on your trees, shrubs and flower beds.
- Reduce mowing and watering by keeping your lawn at least 2 or 3 inches high. Taller grass shades the soil meaning it requires less water and stays healthier.
Visit calgary.ca/YardSmart for more tips and tools and to download our YardSmart plant guide.
Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw Review
The City of Calgary is reviewing the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw to better understand how it reflects community values and meets the needs of Calgarians. The goal is to have a bylaw that will adapt to the changing trends in society and that will improve public safety and livability.
In the first phase of the public engagement process, Calgarians were asked to share their thoughts on what is and isn’t working with the current regulations. They were also given the opportunity to provide input on other things that should be included in the Bylaw. Feedback collected in phase one is being used to develop potential amendments to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
In the second phase, the City of Calgary is seeking your feedback on these potential amendments. Visit calgary.ca/petbylaw to stay informed and get updates.
-Councillor Peter Demong