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Eckville Town Council receives funding for COVID-related costs

Council has also recently discussed their priorities for RCMP presence in town

Eckville Town Council would like to see a continued RCMP presence in town.

RCMP Staff Sergeant Jeff McBeth recently wrote to Town Council asking what their priorities are for the community in regard to local RCMP.

McBeth wrote the local RCMP’s goals are community engagement, crime reduction and road safety.

“In order for the RCMP to be successful [sic] I need your input into what our goals should be. In the past we have been directed by division and district on some of the goals, however it appears that this year we are not bound by any,” McBeth wrote.

The RCMP enter its new “annual performance plan” on April 1, and are currently developing a plan, with input from local municipalities.

Eckville Council said they would also like to see an emphasis on community engagement, crime reduction and road safety.

In addition to this, council would like to see an increase in police presence within the community.

Over the last year, there has been an increase in RCMP vehicles seen within Town, and Town Council will like to see a further increase in “public presence” this year.

At the most recent meeting of Council on March 8, Eckville Town Council discussed the Municipal Operating Support Transfer (MOST) funding.

This funding is being given to municipalities by the provincial and federal governments to support them after experiencing “significant operating impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Funding is to be used for incremental operating costs incurred due to COVID-19 response and restart, as well as other operating losses or deficits incurred as a result of COVID-19 impacts on revenues and operations,” the council package states.

Incremental operating costs could include costs such as personal protective equipment, communications, additional cleaning and supplemental staffing.

Operational losses or deficits could include losses or deficits due to decreases in tax revenue, lose of facility use fees and loss of building permit fees.

The Town of Eckville received $122,746 in MOST funding, for operational support.

Council moved the funding be used for operating costs, unpaid 2020 property taxes and the remaining balance be allocated as “additional one-time payments to the not-for-profit organizations operating the Town-owned facilities.”

Funds not used for “eligible expenses” before March 31, must be returned for the Government of Alberta.