February 2021 Newsletter
Hello, Ward 14.
We are nearing the end of winter, and although we may still be in the grips of the cold weather, we are headed for a Spring filled with more hope than the last. I have prepared some information you may find useful for this month (not that I don’t always try to be useful).
2021 Property Assessments
I mentioned this last month, but as I do every year, I will mention it a second time at least. Reviewing your property assessment is a habit that you should get into. You have the right to ensure that it is accurate, fair, and equitable. The City of Calgary assesses more than 500,000 properties in Calgary every year in compliance with the Municipal Government Act and regulations set by the Government of Alberta, and mails property assessment notices.
Your 2021 property assessment value will be used to calculate your share of taxes. That value is based on the real estate market on July 1, 2020 and the physical condition of the property on December 31, 2020. Be sure to review your assessment notice for inaccuracies when you receive it, because it may save you some money.
Here is how you can help you complete a self-review:
- Review your notice for factual errors and contact the City if you find any.
- Log on to your secure Assessment Search account (calgary.ca/assessmentsearch). While logged on you can review your property’s details, compare your property’s assessed value with similar properties in your area to ensure fairness, and review real estate market trends.
- Understand your tax implication. The City offers a preliminary property tax calculator to help property owners estimate their upcoming taxes. Please visit calgary.ca/taxcalculator.
You can contact the City during the Customer Review Period and one of our property assessment experts will help you. Call 403.268.2888 or visit calgary.ca/assessment.
Help protect your water lines from freezing this winter
Every winter some Calgarians experience freezing service lines, water pipes and water outages. Some major factors include the ground depth of water service pipes, river water temperature and frost depth. Those close to the river or in older communities tend to be at higher risk.
Steps to reduce your risk for frozen lines
- Look for cold drafts in unheated areas where water supply lines are located. This includes basements, crawl spaces, attics, garages and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets.
- Repair broken windows, check doors and insulate areas that allow cold exterior air to enter.
- Insulate your hot and cold water pipes that are located in cold areas.
- Open interior doors and cabinets in cold areas to allow heat from the house to warm unprotected pipes.
- Keep the heat set to at least 15°C.
- Make sure the water line to outside faucets, garden hoses, pools or decorative water features is turned off, disconnected and drained.
- If your hot water tank is in a maintenance room outside of your home, make sure the area is adequately heated.
- Regularly run water in your pipes through everyday use, or by continuously running a pencil-width stream of water. You will be responsible for any increase in water charges unless you received an official notice from The City of Calgary instructing you to do so.
Find out more at calgary.ca/frozenpipes.
Mental Health: Emotional Preparedness
It is important to consider emotional preparedness as part of your household emergency action plan. Disasters can impact everyone differently, but most people feel an element of disruption and stress. The high volume of information and concerns during a disaster can be overwhelming and having a few emotional tools identified in advance will help you remain calm in this type of environment. When you take care of yourself first you are able to support your family.
What does stress look like: If someone in your family is having on-going trouble coping with their emotions or is experiencing symptoms of stress which could include: problems with sleep, separation anxiety, requiring consistent reassurance, increased substance use, shows less interest in their friends, does repetitive behaviours such as excessive hand washing, contact your healthcare professional for help.
Make a Plan – to understand your and your loved one’s ability to be resilient before an emergency:
- Think about how you/they cope with stress.
- Identify what personal things make you/them feel better.
- What healthy actions do you/they do to decompress after a stressful experience?
- What do you/they do to recognize or support loved ones with similar feelings?
Emotional Preparedness during an Emergency:
- Continue to get timely and accurate information from credible sources. Misinformation can be dangerous during an emergency.
- Try and maintain your daily routine.
- Focus on the positive and do something you enjoy.
- Get rest, eat nutritional food and drink plenty of water.
- Recognize your own feelings. Be mindful, pay attention to your thoughts, feelings and body sensations. This can help identify if you are feeling anxious or stressed. Identify actions that can help you feel calm.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Find different ways to stay connected with family if you are away from them.
- Find comfort in your spiritual and personal beliefs.
Staying Connected – connections with others is critical to increase resilience after emergencies:
- Identify who is in your or your family’s network.
- Identify who you/they typically turn to when you/they are feeling stressed.
- Who do you/they consider to be in your/their community?
- Identify key contact lists for your household and how you will contact them.
For more information, visit: https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/page16759.aspx
-Councillor Peter Demong