May 2020 Newsletter
Hello Ward 14.
What a difference a month can make. I have occasionally reminded the readers of this column that because I must write it well in advance of the publication date (I am writing this in late March), some of the details might be slightly out of date. Never has that been truer than right now...
In the print version of my April column (which you will be receiving as I write this, and I wrote in February) two of the three topics—Counciltalk and Community Cleanups—are now cancelled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In eight years of Counciltalk, not one has been cancelled until now. With the schools now closed I have been forced to cancel the Ward 14 Wordsmith Awards for 2020 as well. We will be up and running again in 2021!
So how can we keep people informed when things are changing so quickly? One way is to share general websites that can be updated so people can refer to from time to time…
City of Calgary
Information and updates on the City of Calgary's response to the COVID-19 Pandemic can be found at calgary.ca/covid19.
Province of Alberta
For COVID-19 resources and updates visit alberta.ca/covid19.
Government of Canada
Anything COVID-19 related from the Federal Government can be found at canada.ca/covid19. Are you noticing a pattern?
COVID-19 municipal property tax relief information
Did you know by paying your property tax on or before June 30 you’re helping Calgarians through the COVID-19 pandemic? Citizens and businesses able pay their property tax by the due date are supporting essential City services, including Police, Emergency Services and Transit.
For property owners facing financial hardship due to COVID-19, City Council approved two municipal property tax relief measures to provide added 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.
To learn about joining or changing TIPP before or after Sept 30 please visit calgary.ca/TIPP.
Learn more about these municipal property tax relief measures by visiting calgary.ca/properytax.
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.
Feel free to contact me any time. The best way to do so is by visiting calgary.ca/contactward14. Stay safe and listen to the advice of health officials.
-Councillor Peter Demong
Categories: COVID-19 Pandemic, Newsletter