The City of Cold Lake says over 25 staff members have been placed on temporary leave as the COVID-19 outbreak forces closures. On Thursday the city said the rules mandated by the province to help with physical distancing mean some city-owned locations are seeing little to no use.
“This was a very difficult decision and we hope these valued staff members will be able to return to their positions as soon as possible,” Chief Administrative Officer, Kevin Nagoya, said. “This is an unprecedented situation that we find ourselves in and the city’s administration must always maintain a respect for taxpayers’ dollars. We made every reasonable effort to have all staff members work for as long as possible, however, because of the protracted nature of the COVID-19 health emergency, it had come to the point where this challenging decision had to be made.”
The staff members have the option to access a registered supplemental unemployment benefit plan, and will also have the option to provide the city with expressions of interest to work at another area for the city if available.
“This challenging decision reflects only the fiscal reality that our community, like many others, is facing due to the health emergency,” Nagoya said. “The City of Cold Lake is a beautiful place to live in large part because of the dedication of our staff members. We look forward to the opportunity to welcome our colleagues back and resume our programs and services in due course.”