City Announces COVID-19 Assistance Package
Medicine Hat – After careful deliberation, City Council announced a COVID-19 assistance package to support residents and businesses in coping with and recovering from the economic impacts of the pandemic.
The package was introduced at the May 4 meeting of City Council and includes support for both residents and business owners.
“Council has spent a great deal of time considering how best to support the community during this crisis,” said Mayor Ted Clugston. “We know businesses and families are hurting and the need is urgent, but it was important that we provided a thoughtful approach to ensure our decisions would have a significant impact.
Although the responsibility for public health and economic well-being of the community largely rests with other levels of senior government, the City has chosen to augment and support provincial and federal programs to customize for local conditions.
The package includes up to $8.2 million dollar in support consisting of the following:
• $3.9M COVID property tax credit for all classes (subject to final 2020 Assessment values completed early May). This will be achieved by maintaining all municipal taxes at 2019 rates (originally set to increase by 3.5% for 2020)
• $0.3M relating to three-month payment deferral of property taxes and utilities with a 12-month repayment plan for arrears (up to 24-month repayment plan on a case-by-case basis.)
• Up to $2M grant for reinvestment into local businesses. The fund will be facilitated by Community Futures Entre-Corp in $500,000 tranches. Entre-Corp is a trusted and capable entity, and is well-equipped to facilitate fund redistribution as per their current mandate. The City will provide criteria to ensure appropriate adjudication of applicants.
• Up to $1M support for vulnerable residents. Offered via $250,000 tranches as needed, the contribution will be shared between Community Warmth and Community Foundation of Southeastern Alberta.
• Up to $1M for inducements to achieve / expedite economic development, and financial amendments to existing contractual arrangements on a case-by-case basis. This fund will be facilitated by the CAO office.
The City has also submitted to the Province a list of shovel-worthy capital projects that may qualify for Federal or Provincial Government stimulus spending.
“We’re proud that our City is able to offer a significant assistance package to both residents and businesses during this challenging time,” added Clugston. “Our community has a history of coming together and supporting one another in a crisis, and we’re confident that Medicine Hat will rally and triumph over time.”
More information related to the City’s response to COVID-19 can be found at www.medicinehat.ca.
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Director, Marketing and Communications
City of Medicine Hat