South Peace News
Big Lakes County has reduced services to a minimum and cancelled or postponed events during the worldwide coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.
“We would like to assure residents that the interest of community health and safety is our priority,” Reeve Richard Simard says in a news release March 18.
The county will continue to fully operate core services, including fire protection, utilities, solid waste, road safety and the airport throughout the duration of the pandemic and reduced social activity.
“Since January, the county has been carefully monitoring and developing a proactive strategy to address any risks associated with COVID-19 for our residents, visitors, and employees,” Simard says.
“Moving forward, we will continue to work closely with Alberta Health Services and the Alberta Emergency Management Agency in monitoring this rapidly-changing situation.”
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney declared a public health emergency March 17 in an effort to combat the growing spread of COVID-19.
Big Lakes County is waiving all penalties on utility bills for the months of April and May.
“We will not disconnect any customers during this time,” Simard says.
Changes to County Operations
Several facilities and operations are closed until further notice.
Big Lakes County administration buildings and Family and Community Support Services offices are closed.
For more information, phone  523-5955) or e-mail biglakes@big lakescounty.ca. The county staff directory can be found at https://www.biglakescounty.ca/contact/county-directory.
Big Lakes Rural Public Transportation Program is cancelled until further notice. Anyone who needs assistance in to make other travel arrangements for critical medical needs, please phone FCSS manager Nicole Hanna at  776-0008.
Big Lakes FCSS Faust After-School Youth Program is cancelled until further notice.
Kinuso Municipal Library and Kinosayo Museum are closed until further notice.
Public recreation facilities are closed until further notice.
Changes to scheduled events
Several meetings and events have either been cancelled or postponed.
All scheduled meetings with Big Lakes County council or staff involving the public have been cancelled until further notice including the regular council meeting March 25 inclduing:
- April 19-25 – All volunteer Appreciation Week events are cancelled.
- June 1-7 – Seniors Week events are cancelled.