It seems that during the course of a few weeks, our lives have been turned upside-down and consumed with the coronavirus.
Never before have we experienced anything like this. From a local government perspective, navigating through this pandemic is challenging to say the least. That said, I am writing to keep our residents informed in regard to Village of Ashcroft operations.
At this point the public works department is status quo. Personnel may not be out as a group or engaging with the public as usual, but all essential services will be provided, meaning you will have safe potable water from the water treatment plant, sewer operations will continue as usual, and garbage will continue to be picked up. The changes you will see are the closure of Village facilities such as the Community Hall, playground equipment, and the Village office. Please be assured that we are doing this as a precaution and for the protection of our residents.
The Ashcroft Volunteer Fire Department has suspended regular fire practices but is responding to all call-outs. We appreciate the dedication of the fire department and their commitment to keep us and our properties safe.
Staff and council are participating in ongoing virtual meetings with other levels of government to keep informed and updated as this pandemic evolves, so that we can adapt our planning and actions to protect our community to the best of our ability. Locally we are participating in regional government meetings to support consistent messaging, potential collaborations, and consider sharing resources when possible.
Another concern for the Village is the supply chain. We are dealing with supply shortages and are working to source necessary items. Please understand that safety for our employees and residents is our highest priority. Staff have reached out to some businesses and will continue to reach out to the business community to stay informed and provide any assistance or information that we can.
As new information is learned, we will post updates to the Village website (www.ashcroftbc.ca) and post the notice at the Ashcroft Post Office. Links to official sites are available on the Village website; click on the news link at the bottom of the home page.
Most importantly, we want to reiterate the message from the federal and provincial governments and Provincial Medical Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry: “Please practice social distancing, self-isolation, and hand hygiene.”
Lastly, help when possible, check in on your neighbours (by phone), drop off supplies for those who are unable to leave their homes, and be kind. We can overcome COVID-19 together, providing we all do our part.
Daniela Dyck is the Interim CAO for the Village of Ashcroft