The City of Cranbrook has increased its response to the COVID-19 outbreak and has subsequently closed all of its facilities and offices to the public, and is suspending all face-to-face counter services as of Thursday.

The closure includes City Hall, the Cranbrook Fire Hall, Public Works, as well as Building and Bylaw Services.

“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,” said 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.”

Thursday’s closures follow Cranbrook’s previous decision to close Western Financial Place, the Cranbrook Aquatic Centre, Cranbrook Public Library, and Memorial and Kinsmen Arenas on Monday, March 16th.

Fire and emergency response remains unaffected by the closure, as well as water treatment and delivery services.

Candian Rockies International Airport also remains operations and is closely following protocols outlined by the Federal Government and providing service for its regularly scheduled flights. Office hours at the airport are limited to the public, as airport administration continue working remotely and answering emails and phone calls from the public. Anyone seeking information on flights is reminded to contact the airline directly and not Candian Rockies International Airport.

“It is important for residents to remember to please ensure that there is no loose garbage or open garbage bags left out on your collection day, otherwise it will not be picked up,” said the City of Cranbrook. “This is an important step to ensure the health and safety of our collection team.”

City staff will continue to work remotely and in their offices during regular business hours to continue to serve residents with matters such as building inspections, land use planning, bylaw, tax and utility payments. The City says staff will respond to public inquiries by phone and email, while residents are also encouraged to utilize Cranbrook’s website.

As a result of the closure, the March 23rd meeting of Cranbrook City Council has been cancelled and all scheduled meetings will be assessed on a meeting-by-meeting basis.

As for bill payments, anyone can still mail their payment or use the drop-off box the front of Cranbrook City Hall. The City cays the public can also pay online through their payment portal or through their own personal bank.

“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,” said the City. “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, please call 250-489-0233.”

In response to COVID-19, the City of Cranbrook encourages the public to get the latest information from HealthLinkBC.

“We are a strong, caring community well known for looking out for one another and looking after those in need. 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,” said the City of Cranbrook. “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.”