As the province announces more phases of the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan, more businesses and public spaces are becoming available once again. Although some locations are opening, there are still restrictions in place to ensure the safety of everyone.
Dillon Shewchuk, the Community Economic Development Manager for the City of Martensville was a key player in the creation of the ‘Warman & Martensville Regional Business Task Force’ that was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This group was created through a partnership between the City of Warman, City of Martensville and the Prairie Sky Chamber of Commerce as a support to businesses during this difficult time. Shewchuk noted that the Task Force is still in place; however have stepped back from some of the networking options that they had been providing throughout March and April due to many businesses re-opening.
“So far, it seems to be going quite well and businesses are working within the parameters that are set out in front of them. One of the challenges that I have heard is regarding the added time, effort and cost involving additional PPE that is required at this time, but unfortunately, that is the way it is right now,” Shewchuk said. “There is the odd instance where businesses are remaining closed for the time being, or have delayed opening to ensure they have the appropriate plans in place and the proper level of comfort where they feel confident about opening, but overall, it seems to have been a positive experience for many of our local businesses. Hopefully we continue to trend the right way and some of these measures can be lifted in time.”
Along with businesses re-opening, City Hall also re-opened to the public on June 10th. Following discussions with the province, and taking the appropriate precautions within the building, the City of Martensville believed that they could open confidently and safely for the public and staff. Certain measures have been taken, such as a shield and barrier in place between the public and front office staff, additional cleaning and sanitization and the encouragement of the public to utilize debit and credit rather than cash.
“Although we are open to the public, we are asking that if people are able to do things online or over the phone, that they avoid coming in. We also have a drop box that can be used, but if push comes to shove and you need to do business at City Hall, we are able to help you,” said Shewchuk.
At this time, City Council meetings continue to be held virtually, as the layout in Council Chambers makes it difficult to properly maintain physical distancing between Council and Administration, as well as the public.
The City of Martensville continues to have open communication with the province and the ministries regarding the Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan. “We are keeping our eye on things and in respect to other facilities such as the Civic Centre, MAP and the Aquatic Centre, it is a bit of a challenge because we don’t have any dates yet, but hopefully, we continue trending in the right direction and we can look at opening some of these facilities up to the public again in the near future,” added Shewchuk.