Rossland council is trying to protect staff from the spread of coronavirus. File photo

Rossland council closes facilities

Meetings discouraged, staff contact with public channelled to phones

The City of Rossland closed the Miners Hall and Rossland Arena effective Tuesday as part of efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus.

“We understand these closures will cause inconveniences to many people and we thank you for your understanding and patience, the city announced in a news release Monday. “Any persons registered in Rossland Recreation Programs will be refunded their program fees starting March 17.”

Policy

changes for coronavirus

The closures come as the city announced updated policies to protect its staff and operations during the pandemic.

Among the measures is limiting the number of people who can come to municipal offices.

Effective Monday and until further notice “access to City Hall and/or any other city-owned building or facility by the general public, visitors, and nonessential contractors/employees may be restricted at the discretion of the city management,” the policy says.

Public and media attendance at council meetings may also be affected, though the policy says any limitations will be posted on the agenda for that meeting.

With restrictions on public gatherings growing, the city is also giving a break to people who are booking municipal facilities.

“The city will approve any future cancellation request from group(s) and/or individual(s) that have previously booked city facilities for upcoming events,” says the policy. “Upon written submission of a request to the city, applicable refunds will be provided in full to the group and/or individual that originally booked the facility at the discretion of city management.”

The city will not allow events to be held in its facilities that violate federal or provincial size guidelines for meetings.

Future events may also be cancelled altogether, with the city looking “to postpone and/or cancel current and future programs, events, activities, and undertakings when/where applicable.”

The city is also echoing provincial and federal health officials’ statements on preventative measures.

“The city strongly encourages residents and visitors to use social distancing measures and/or minimizing close contact with others during the peak of this pandemic,” the policy states.

“In addition to staying home, people are encouraged to avoid crowds and mass gatherings, avoid shaking hands, sharing food and/or drinks, and practice proper hygiene techniques.”

City councillors and staff are to inform city management if they plan to attend conferences and meetings, and to follow safe hygiene practices while at the meetings. Foreign travel is discouraged, and if someone has to leave, they should follow self-isolating practices when returning to the country.

There’s no word yet on the fate of the by-election, scheduled for April 4, although an all-candidates debate scheduled for March 23 at the Legion hall has been cancelled.

People who need information or to contact a municipal employee should contact City Hall at 250-362-7396 to be re-directed appropriately.

For emergencies and/or after-hours assistance, call 1-866-417-4104.

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