Creston residents will finally be able to go into the town hall to deal with a staff member face-to-face. At the Council meeting held on May 26th, a motion was passed to adopt a return to work plan.
The town hall will be re-opened to the public on June 1st with a ‘soft launch’ as staff works out the best way to deal with the public.
Added safety measures have been implemented including putting up safety glass in the lobby, more sanitizing of surfaces and signage indicating new safe practices.
Mayor Ron Toyota is looking forward to townhall reopening to the public. “The BC Re-Start program announcing phase two which allows us to re-open townhall is a great step forward for our community and rural region to interact with our citizens, especially with those who want to complete their residential homeowner grant forms in person, as well as pay their property taxes which are due on July 2nd”. said Ron Toyota
According to the Director of Finance and Corporate Services Steffan Klassen, the town may also put up a tent in front of the town hall to deal with the public with their questions outside.
The town still encourages residents to utilize online services wherever possible to avoid the possibility of spreading the virus. Two administrative staff and one summer student will provide services once re-opened.
Included in the town hall reopening is the return back to in-person meetings for the town council. These meetings will not be open to the general public. Only councillors, town staff and the media may attend. The next meeting is set for June 9, 2020.
“Since mid-March going to “on-line” meetings was, in the beginning, a new challenge and actually, I looked forward to them but now I am looking forward much more to going back to our council chambers for “face-to-face” meetings respecting physical distancing.” Toyota said “I have been through many WebEx, Zoom, “go-to-meetings” and conference calls and the little annoyances became issues with my mind. Sitting through sessions with everyone “dressed-down” and not shaven, etc was a distraction.”
Toyota is also hopeful that being apart will make the council more thankful when doing in-person meetings. “Hopefully, this is all behind us and we will be more thankful when we are in each other’s presence.”
To develop the plan a hazard analysis was completed based on the hierarchy of controls for COVID-19 as recommended by the Provincial Health Officer. According to the policy document put forward by staff.