Approximately 12 people attended the first recent council meeting at Memorial Hall on Monday evening. Despite having no bylaws to consider this meeting, the agenda was quite full (Adam Louis/Observer)

Harrison officials unveil reopening plan

As Phase 3 takes effect, village amenities, services resume

There’s much work to do in the wake of Phase 3 of the province’s reopening plan following the first wave of COVID-19.

Village staff presented a reopening plan to council during its first recent meeting at Memorial Hall on Monday, June 1.

During Phase 3, council and other public meetings will be conducted at Memorial Hall for at least the next few months. Once Phase 4 arrives, the council will then reconsider the use of Memorial hall for municipal meetings. The village office itself is scheduled to reopen on June 15 for in-person services. It will be closed during the lunch hour.

During Phase 3, bylaw patrols will resume on Fridays and long weekends. Firefighters can resume practice and training.

RELATED: Facio: Calm and caution needed when enjoying long weekend outdoors

As far as recreation goes, racket courts, Tourism Harrison and the Sasquatch Museum will be open with physical distancing signage in place, safety measures and in the case of Tourism and the museum, subject to limited occupancy. Playgrounds and outdoor exercise equipment will open when School District 78 reopens their playgrounds. The Starlight Skating Rink is slated to reopen in November as part of the Lights on the Lake Festival.

The village has been operating at approximately 80 per cent of normal staffing levels, the report said, and essential utilities and services went uninterrupted. Coun. Samantha Piper thanked the staff for their sustained work during “uncertain and unnerving” times amid the worldwide pandemic.

There were some audio glitches for the meeting, making it difficult to hear village officials who called in, but the council worked through all the same. About 12 people were in attendance, spaced out according to provincial health guidelines.

SEE ALSO: PHOTOS: Harrison Hot Springs Resort reopens

There were no bylaws up for Village Council consideration for this meeting.

In other council business, the motion to approve the staff moving ahead with the rezoning process for 410 Echo Avenue failed, an unusual move for the council. The rezoning would have changed the current zoning from a duplex to a small lot zone, which would facilitate a five-lot subdivision. This was one of four development and rezoning matters before council on Monday night; the other three passed.

Mayor Leo Facio said he received a letter from an 8-year-old resident recently, marking the youngest person to ever contact his office. The letter writer asked about cleaning the lagoon and expanding the playground and skate park. The mayor responded with gratitude and said he would bring the matters before council.

The council unanimously approved of a COVID-19 temporary extension application for the Old Settler Pub, located at 220 Cedar Avenue. This allows the pub to expand their service area onto the front lawn in front of the patio to expand their service area while staying compliant with current COVID-19-related needs.

The council also approved of amendments to the Resort Development Strategy. With council’s approval this allows for expansion of the synthetic skating rink by reducing the size of the island, a $4,000 public art project (a carved Sasquatch outside the Visitor Centre) and a $40,000 investment toward Lights by the Lake, which will be taken from funds that normally would have been spent on events had they not been cancelled due to the coronavirus.

The next regular council meeting is scheduled for June 15 at 7 p.m. at Memorial Hall.

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