“The plan itself is a fluid plan that responds to changing conditions as they relate to providing safe municipal services,” Mayor of Hastings Highlands Vic Bodnar explains in a statement to the MyBancroftNow.com newsroom.

The first phase of the plan will include buildings in the municipality undergoing renovations to create a “safer and more secure working environment” for staff. This will include the Hastings Highlands Centre’s office layout changing. A new design will be made that will make better use of space for programming and service delivery needs.

“All municipal buildings, facilities, playground structures, outdoor recreational spaces, including sports fields, community centers, outdoor rinks and picnic shelters will be closed until June 22nd,” Bodnar says in the statement. When municipally-owned buildings and facilities do re-open, as part of the first phase of their recovery plan, new protocols will be created and enforced for people entering them.

At a later date, fire and emergency services will begin working towards resuming training and drills for volunteer firefighters.

New guidelines will also be created for Hastings Highlands staff practices and controls in compliance with Provincial Health and Safety Association Guidelines. Staff will also be trained on best health and safety practices, again in compliance with PHSA. That will be done through electronic training sessions.

Electronic sessions of council are set to become more accessible under the first phase of the plan. Staff will be outfitted with what is needed to allow for more access to electronic meetings of council to residents. Staff will also be given more freedom to work from home when needed.

“The protection and the health and safety for staff and our community is paramount and has guided all the decisions made in this phased approach to the municipality’s COVID-19 recovery plan,” Bodnar says.

Written by Mathew Reisler