June 2020 Newsletter
In this Issue
COVID-19 Municipal Property Tax Relief
Neighbour Day & More
Be Prepared for River Flooding
Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw Review
Messages from our Community Partners
A Note from the President
As we move into summer and think back to last year, we may find ourselves missing some of the fun community events we’ve enjoyed in the past. While we’ve all been forced to make adjustments for the pandemic this year, there are still opportunities for celebrating your community on Neighbour Day in a safe, socially responsible manner. With a little care and patience, our new normal can still be a successful part of a community celebration. Scroll down for ideas on what you can do this year to celebrate Neighbour Day. Our community is what we make it and I for one think it’s amazing. So remember, Whitehorn; stay safe, be patient, be kind. We’re all in this together.
City of Calgary News
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.
Neighbour Day 2020
We’re celebrating a little differently this year
The City of Calgary is celebrating Neighbour Day a little differently this year.
Neighbour Day began in 2014 to celebrate the incredible outpouring of support and generosity neighbours demonstrated after the 2013 floods. It has evolved into an annual celebration of what makes Calgary such a great city – our strong and caring communities. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever that Calgarians connect with our neighbours and support one another, but from a safe physical distance.
Visit calgary.ca/NeighbourDay to learn how you can get involved in this year’s celebrations.
Neighbours helping Neighbours:
Commit to three acts of kindness
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, social connectivity, mental health and community wellness are more important than ever. Calgarians are renowned for their acts of generosity during times of uncertainty, but sometimes, it can be difficult to know exactly how to help.
The City of Calgary is encouraging citizens to commit to three simple acts of kindness to support your neighbours, your community and the city. Visit calgary.ca/HelpingOthers to find ideas, volunteer opportunities, printable tools and resources, and other ways to give.
Be sure to share your acts of kindness on social media and to take part in these community-led movements that are gaining popularity for their positivity: #3Things4Neighbours, #AlbertaCares, #SupportLocalYYC and #yycHubs.
Be prepared for river flooding
Calgary is at the highest risk for flooding from May 15 to July 15. Depending on how quickly the snow melts and if there is heavy rainfall at the same time, floods can happen quickly, and with little warning, so it’s important to be prepared.
Flood preparation is a top priority. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, we have the resources in place to prepare and quickly respond to a flood.
We’re monitoring weather and river conditions 24/7 to provide the earliest possible warning of flooding and improve response.
We have a dedicated team that have stockpiled materials for riverbank protection and temporary barriers, and completed testing of outfalls, lift stations and pumps.
We’re building a more flood resilient city
Calgary is better prepared today for floods like the one in 2013 with many projects completed or underway. This year, the installation of new, higher steel gates at the Glenmore Dam means we’re able to manage a 2005-level flood along the Elbow River. With the construction of the Springbank Reservoir we’ll reach our goal of managing a 2013-level flood.
What you can do to be ready
- Know your flood risk whether you live, work or spend any time around our rivers.
- Be prepared. Take steps to reduce flood-damage and be prepared if you need to evacuate quickly.
- Stay informed. Follow local media and The City on social media, and make sure you’re receiving emergency alerts.
Visit calgary.ca/flood for more information.
Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw Review
The City of Calgary is reviewing the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw to better understand how it reflects community values and meets the needs of Calgarians. The goal is to have a bylaw that will adapt to the changing trends in society and that will improve public safety and livability.
In the first phase of the public engagement process, Calgarians were asked to share their thoughts on what is and isn’t working with the current regulations. They were also given the opportunity to provide input on other things that should be included in the Bylaw. Feedback collected in phase one is being used to develop potential amendments to the Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw.
In the second phase, the City of Calgary is seeking your feedback on these potential amendments. Visit calgary.ca/petbylaw to stay informed and get updates.
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.
From Our Community Partners
A message from the Federation of Calgary Communities
Walking is a great way to stay active and get to know your community! While out walking, keep these safety tips in mind:
- Practice safe physical distancing by staying at least 2 metres—roughly the length of an average bicycle, tire to tire—from others you encounter on your walk. Follow all suggestions and restrictions put forward by the City of Calgary
- Tell someone where you are going, which route you are taking, and when you will be back.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Notice everything that goes on near you and particularly in front of you. The earlier you notice a possible problem the greater chance you have of dealing with it.
- Listen to your instincts. Something that does not look or seem right will probably cause a problem – so if you notice something like this, move yourself away from it as quickly as possible.
- Walk facing the traffic.
- Walk near the curb unless cars are parked in the street. Stay away from shrubbery, darkened doorways, and alleys where an assailant can be hiding.
- Never assume parked cars are empty.
- Avoid using headphones – you might not hear trouble approaching. If you use headphones, it is recommended that you keep the volume low enough to allow you to hear anyone approaching as well as any traffic coming in your direction.
- Be wary of casual requests from strangers (someone asking for directions, a cigarette or change – they could have ulterior motives).
- Be alert. Look over your shoulder once in a while.
- Never accept rides with strangers.
- If you carry a purse, briefcase, or bag, keep a tight grip on it so no one can steal it.
- Enjoy your walk, but always remain aware of your surroundings!
For more information on the library’s Path to Reopening please visit their information page here.
The Access to Food team has developed a google map to highlight no and low cost food resources in Calgary (e.g. food hampers, community food pantries, delivery services, gift card programs, prepared meals, etc.). We would like to request your help in sharing the map externally and also in helping to keep the map relevant/accurate. We’d also be happy to hear any suggestions you have for making the map more useful for Calgarians.
You can find the map here:
Calgary COVID-19 Community Food Map: Places where people can access no and low cost food in the city of Calgary during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is a ‘living’ map resource and can quickly become outdated. When you take a look at the map and look at the resources available in your neighbourhood, please let the team know if there are any additional resources that could be added, services that could be clarified, or programs that have closed.
Please feel free to share the map with your family, friends, social recreation groups, and sport groups. If they have changes that need to be made, feel free to let them know they can email Nancy.Dick@calgary.ca directly to have it updated.