City closing offices to public, staff to remain working in offices or remotely

All offices and facilities, along with face-to-face front counter services have been closed to the public until further notice, according to the latest update from the City of Cranbrook.

This includes City Hall, Bylaw Services and the Cranbrook Fire Hall.

The decision was made in consultation with Interior Health and based on the latest information regarding the reduction of coronavirus transmission.

“We apologize for the inconvenience this may cause but we appreciate your understanding as we work to protect the health of all of our citizens and of course our employees,” says Mayor Lee Pratt. “We have a committee formed to deal with all situations which may arise from the COVID-19 pandemic and will be proactive in making some well informed decisions as necessary.”

The latest closures follow previously announced closures of Western Financial Place, the aquatic centre, the Memorial and Kinsmen arenas and the Cranbrook Public Library.

The regular city council meeting on Monday, March 23 has been cancelled.

City services including water treatment and delivery, fire and emergency response and garbage collection will not be affected. Make sure there is no loose garbage and or opened garbage bags left out for collection, otherwise it will not be picked up.

While offices are being closed to the public, staff will continue to work remotely and in offices during regular business hours, providing regular services such as building inspection, land use planning, bylaw, tax and utility payments and others. Staff are also available to respond to public inquiries and requests by both phone and email.

Additional city information is available online.

“We are a strong, caring community well known for looking out for one another and looking after those in need,” reads a press release from the city. “We encourage you to check in on and support your neighbours, share supplies, and please don’t hoard products and goods by buying only what you need.

“We appreciate the community’s continued patience and understanding during this difficult time as we work together to ensure the well-being of everyone in our community and help slow the spread of COVID-19.”

Any bills that need to be paid can be mailed to the city or dropped off using the drop box at the front of city hall. Bills can also be paid online using the city’s online payment portal or through a financial institution.

Property owners who are on pre-authorized payment plans for utility bills, withdrawals will continue to be made on the first of every second month with the next payment scheduled for April 1, 2020. Property owners with pre-authorized payments for property taxes, those will continue the 15th of each month. If you wish to cancel or put these payments on hold, call the city at 250-489-0233.

Operations remain in place at the Canadian Rockies International Airport, which is following protocols mandated by the federal government and continuing to provide service to regularly scheduled flights. Office hours to the public are limited, but some airport administration staff remain working remotely and are answering phone calls and emails.

The airport restaurant has chosen to remain open for now with reduced capacity and greater distance between tables and may close by the end of the week. The airport vending machines will continue to be monitored and fully stocked.

It is important for those individuals who are continuing to fly and need to know about the status of their flights, to please contact their airline directly – not the office of the Canadian Rockies International Airport.

Visit the province’s HealthLink BC website for the latest information on COVID-19.

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