Town takes measured approach to reopen town services and programs
Mayor Rob Burton shared Oakville’s COVID-19 Recovery Program, Strategy and Framework at the May 25, 2020, Council meeting. The town’s recovery framework serves as a guiding document for detailed plans being developed to support reopening and recovery.
“This framework will help us navigate how Oakville moves forward and recovers from the impacts of COVID-19 in a way that is safe and efficient. Work is underway and staff teams are already engaged in recovery planning to ensure the town is prepared to restore services and respond to community needs as we move beyond the crisis stage while maintaining the health and safety of our staff and our community.”Mayor Rob Burton
On April 27, 2020, the province announced a three-stage gradual approach (Select Opening, Further Opening and Full Opening) to reopening Ontario, with appropriate measures in place to ensure public and worker safety. The town’s approach to responsibly reopen services aligns with the province. Oakville’s Recovery Program Framework takes a coordinated and systematic approach to reintroducing services to the community with four key principles driving each individual “Return to Service” plan:
- Safety – the town will follow the federal, provincial and regional health and safety guidelines to protect staff and the public before authorizing the return of a service.
- Speed – the town will review a number of criteria needed to return a service as quickly as possible.
- Benefit – the town will assess how returning a service will support the community’s overall economic recovery and if the service will benefit a wide range of users.
- Betterment – where possible, the town will take the opportunity to review how to deliver a service differently to support efficiency or financial sustainability.
The town is well positioned to respond to changes in provincial emergency orders to allow services to resume and amenities to reopen. The following highlights some of the town’s recovery actions already taken to date:
- Launched comprehensive online processes to allow building and development projects to advance during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Reopened town community gardens under strict health and safety protocols.
- Reopened park greenspace to expanded use beyond pass-through with provincial emergency order restrictions remaining in place
- Reopened cemeteries to visitors under provincial regulations
- Reopened marinas to boat owners to begin personal boat preparations
- Reopened Bronte public boat ramp. Oakville Harbour public boat ramp to reopen in June once stored boats and docks are moved and in the water
- Reopened all town-owned leash-free dog parks and their parking lots as well as park amenities such as picnic tables, benches, tennis courts, pickleball courts, skateboard parks, waterfront park parking lots, and publically-accessible sports fields (for individual use)
- Reopening basketball courts this week (week of May 25)
- Resumed intake of marriage licence applications by appointment only
While staff continue to proactively assess what services can safely resume and when, and what new protocols need to be in place, the town wants to remind residents that emergency measures, as well as health and safety protocols imposed by the province, the region and the town, are still in place.
For more information, read the COVID-19 Recovery Program Framework report (item #12 on the May 25, 2020, Council addendum)