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Council aims to help Didsbury restaurants, pubs

Expanding outdoor, patio dining opportunities "in the best interest of our business community," administration said

DIDSBURY - Town council has instructed administration to find ways to help local restaurants and pubs during the pandemic.

At the April 13 council meeting, councillors passed a motion to “approve reducing red tape and delays in working with our local food, beverage and dining establishments to accommodate the immediate need for expanded and/or new outdoor dining and patio dining opportunities.”

Under current COVID restrictions, indoor in-person service in restaurants and pubs is not permitted, although outdoor patio service is permitted.

Mayor Rhonda Hunter said since the new restrictions went into effect on April 6 she has spoken to several local businesses regarding the opportunity to expand outdoor/patio dining opportunities in town.

Assisting the local establishments by reducing red tape will be good for the community-at-large, she said.

In a briefing note to council, administration said, “It is acknowledged that Alberta Health Services and Alberta Gaming and Liquor (and Cannabis) have parameters that the town does not govern or oversee, that businesses will have to deal with separately. 

“However, it is in the best interest of our business community to support this initiative for our local businesses during this third round of restrictions placed on food, beverage and dining establishments and their ability to provide indoor dining.”

Council also instructed administration to come back with a report on the possibility of giving local restaurants a break on utility costs during the pandemic.

“Getting the information back is important,” said Hunter.

During the April 13 councillors passed a motion to extend the tax notice payment period to 90 days from the time the tax notices are issued.

As well, a second motion was passed to waive the administration fee for those paying taxes by credit card for the 2021 tax year, ending Dec. 31, 2021.

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