BLACKFALDS – At their regular council meeting on March 24, Blackfalds council unanimously approved administration’s recommendation to remove penalty charges for late payments over the next three months, for individuals faced with financial strain during these unprecedented times.
Following recommendations from the provincial government that municipalities offer some form of financial relief to citizens, administration recommended that the Town of Blackfalds waive the 5 per cent penalty assessed on unpaid utility bills and 1.5 per cent penalty applied on unpaid tax bills over the next three-month period – specifically March, April and May 2020 for Municipal Utilities and April, May and June 2020 for Property Taxes.
“Administration is very happy council approved the temporary relief measure for residents,” said Justin de Bresser, Director of Community Services in a statement March 25. “It is important that residents apply to the town to receive the penalty relief over the next three months.”
The Government of Alberta recently announced a promise to help citizens through the economic repercussions that COVID-19 has brought by way of deferring electricity and natural gas charges. In light of this, they also asked that municipalities also offer similar protection for water and sewer charges.
In consideration of the economic impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the potential for many citizens to be faced with financial hardship, it is important that the town consider options as a form of relief for those that need it.
“Your town council appreciated the thoughtful recommendation that was brought forward,” said Mayor Richard Poole. “We feel these measures will assist our residents during a period that many, through no fault of their own, may be experiencing difficulties and we will continue to work with Administration to determine if additional actions may be utilized in the coming days and weeks until this crisis has finished.”
Anyone who is experiencing financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for penalty relief with the Town of Blackfalds.
If you wish to apply for penalty exemption, please fill out the online application here.
No reason is needed to apply for penalty exemption.
Please be advised that although the town is not penalizing anyone during this pandemic period, the amounts owed to the town cannot be relieved. However, future allowances, and relief may also be considered as the situation progresses and future considerations may need to be made.