For the third time this month, the City of Martensville held their Council meeting virtually, which they will continue doing until the current COVID-19 situation dissipates. Members of the public continue to be invited to attend meetings, and can do so by contacting the City Clerk’s Office at 306-931-2166 to obtain call in information.
The April 21st meeting began with an update from Sgt. Little from the local RCMP department for the months of February and March. In total members responded to 87 complaints in February, with 25 calls being Criminal Code Complaints. A total of 4 Criminal Code charges were made, along with 10 Provincial Traffic charges being laid. For March, members responded to 149 complaints, with 22 Criminal Code Charges and 8 Provincial Traffic Charges being laid.
Sgt. Little stated that it is “business as usual” for the local RCMP members and that none of the members have tested positive for COVID-19 at this time. He also noted that they have been getting numerous calls from local residents regarding COVID-19; however, no one has been charged within the jurisdiction.
Not only has Council been meeting virtually, but City of Martensville administration has been utilizing these tools for meetings with various levels of government and organizations on the impacts of the pandemic. City Manager Scott Blevins noted in his report that, “These meetings have been a tremendous resource of information sharing and ideas.”
Blevins also noted that the department heads have been working on forecasting numbers in the 2020 budget. Currently, the City of Martensville has laid off part-time employees and have numerous employees working from home. “In order to plan for the budget impacts of lost revenue, we have decided not to replace any vacancies, not hire seasonal and summer staff, as well as working out a Letter of Understanding with union to reallocate employees to needed areas,” Blevins said in the City Manager’s report. To date, 14% of staff has been laid off, 17% are working from home and 69% are working on site.
Due to the reduced work force, local residents may notice an impact on some of the services that are typically provided within the local parks and roadways such as; less trimming, less grass cutting, less crack sealing, less street sweeping and others.
At this time, there will not be any changes made to the capital program for 2020; however, Blevins stated that this may require further discussion in the future. “The City will work diligently to maintain fiscal responsibility while still providing appropriate levels of service,” Mayor Muench stated via social media.
When it comes to City facilities and parks, all continue to remain closed to the public at this time. Ted Schaeffer, Director of Recreation and Community Services, noted that fencing has been put around the skatepark to prevent use, as well as the installation of signage and caution tape on playgrounds and fitness equipment within the community. All ball diamonds and athletic fields are closed to organizations until June 30, 2020, which coincides with both Saskatoon and Warman. Pathways and the dog park remain open with reminders in place for those utilizing them to maintain proper physical distancing.
At this time, the Community Info and Volunteer Appreciation Night has been cancelled, with the Amazing Race and Monster Garage Sale currently being postponed.
With more residents being at home, along with an early spring thaw, levels within the lagoon have increased faster than anticipated. The City has been taking necessary steps to work around this issue and collaborating with the Water Security Agency and their consulting engineers.
Continuation on the 3rd Avenue South sanitary sewer replacement project is scheduled to begin the second week of May, and the City will be reaching out to all residents that will be affected this week.
City crews are currently working on back lane repair and maintenance, although some of the lanes are currently soft and saturated, and use of equipment at this point could damage the lanes or buried utilities.
Items from last week’s Committee of the Whole meeting were brought back this week for formal approval including the Remote Work Policy, Sask Lotteries Grant Funding and a discretionary use for a Type II Care Home at 101 Anna Cres. Council requested changes to some of the conditions in place for the care home request on Anna Cres, including roll out bins for garbage and recycling, which are to be stored and screened behind the residence and rolled out on collection days. No large metal bins are permitted.
The next Council meeting will be held May 5, 2020. More information on upcoming meetings, as well as the agenda for each meeting can be found at www.martensville.ca.