Powell River mayor Dave Formosa provided an update on how phase two of the provincial COVID-19 restart plan will affect city operations.
Formosa, at the May 27 council meeting, said come June 1, the city will slowly open some of its venues.
“I want to remind folks to continue being kind to one another, be patient with one another,” said Formosa. “You may go into one facility and see that they’ve set up in a certain way with plexiglass and markings on the floor, with people wearing masks and gloves, but not everybody will be set up the same as everywhere else.
“Different folks have different recommendations from WorkSafeBC on how they are allowed to operate their businesses and/or rules of engagement. Be friendly with one another. We’re all in this together.”
Formosa said from a city point of view, for residents and city employees, their health and safety is important. He said city hall will be opening only partially. He said departments such as planning and building inspection will still be operating on an appointment basis, but the finance department office will be open for activities such as paying property taxes or other payments.
“You’ll come in and see plexiglass and markings on the floor,” said Formosa. “A marshal will be there to keep an eye on the flow and to allow only a certain number of people in the building.
Formosa said Powell River Airport terminal will be open and people with flight reservations will be allowed inside.
“We have to make sure we keep our physical distance,” said Formosa. “All drop-offs and arrivals are to be done in the parking lot. Customers will not be allowed into the terminal to make reservations. It all has to be done on the phone or online. It’s good news that on June 1, aircraft will be flying again.”
Formosa said all city public areas, such as the wharfinger’s office, will be disinfected regularly.
At Willingdon Beach campsite, priority will be given to those who have pre-booked campsites.
“We are still telling people we do not want them to come to our community,” said Formosa. “The message is to stay home but our campsite will be open and we’re hoping locals will come and use it for staycations. Once the city has accommodated all of the reservations we have in place, then they will start looking at new reservations.”
Regarding playgrounds, Formosa said people are being urged to continue physical distancing and handwashing at playground sites with hand sanitizers. There will be signage onsite, providing directions for those using the playgrounds.
Use of Powell River Recreation Complex is being reviewed, said Formosa.
“We will inform the community when we are ready to proceed, and under what conditions,” he said. “We are still doing homework and the director of parks, recreation and culture is doing research. We’ll be hearing more about the recreation complex in the future.”
In his community engagement report, Formosa said he continues to have COVID-19 meetings with Vancouver Coastal Health and the provincial minister of municipal affairs and housing.
He said he also had a videoconference with Mosaic Forestry, which, he said, is the new operating arm of Island Timberlands and TimberWest.
“Those two companies still exist and Mosaic is the operating company that operates both of those companies for the same shareholders,” said Formosa. “Pension funds own the majority of these public companies and they created Mosaic to manage the two companies on behalf of the two corporations. We had a long chat and talked about things of interest and made some contact with the new people we’ll be working with.”
Formosa said there have been more investment enquiries that he has been attending to and some existing ones are moving along.
*This story has been updated. A previous version indicated there would be no schedule and flights would be brought in as needed. There is a schedule, according to Pacific Coastal vice president of commercial services Johnathan Richardson.