Yellowknife closes city hall and solid waste facility due to coronavirus threat

Yellowknife City Hall (File photo/CKLB)

The City of Yellowknife has shut down city hall and the solid waste facility as of today (Thursday).

In a new release issued late Wednesday afternoon, the city says following advice from the Government of Canada and the Government of the Northwest Territories, both facilities are closed until further notice.

City officials say as the situation develops across Canada, the City is taking this further action in preparation for the potential impacts of COVID-19 in Yellowknife.

The city adds it would like to reassure residents that while tough decisions are being made, the health, safety and wellbeing of all community residents and staff remain the City’s top priority and local essential services are continuing.

“While it is difficult to see facilities closed,” states Mayor Rebecca Alty, “it is uplifting to see Yellowknifers taking the situation seriously and supporting one another while these tough decisions are being made. Continue to look after yourselves and one another.”

Staff levels at both facilities will be reduced to essential personnel only, with all other City employees working from home.

Contractors may continue to access the solid waste facility during regular business hours, Monday through Friday, and the City will continue residential and commercial waste and organics collection.

All essential City services are continuing and residents can still contact the City by calling 920-5600, emailing CustomerService@yellowknife.ca or visiting www.yellowknife.ca.

“The City is working diligently to ensure essential services continue to be delivered and that residents can look to and contact the City for information and support at this time,” said Sheila Bassi-Kellett, City Administrator (SAO).

The city is encouraging residents and businesses to keep their accounts current by using the city’s online services, making payments through their banks, mailing or dropping off cheques at the city hall drop box, or calling city hall.

However, in recognition of the current extenuating circumstances, the city states it is looking at options for waiving penalties on late payments.

The previously scheduled Governance and Priorities Committee meeting this coming Monday, March 23, has been cancelled, along with other scheduled committee meetings.

The council meeting scheduled for March 23 at 7 p.m. will proceed with a number of councillors dialling in.

The city encourages interested members of the public to attend electronically via the City’s webcast.

To stay up to date with the latest developments and to explore City services offered online, visit www.yellowknife.ca.

About the Author

John McFadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018. John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL). John worked in Ontario before coming North including stints as a TV sportscaster in Peterborough and senior news writer for CBC and CTV in downtown Toronto.

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