SUNDRE — An updated council chamber layout featuring new desks and partitions is poised to enable in-person meetings to resume safely amidst the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis as well as any future pandemics.
The quoted cost of the project, which includes delivery and installation, runs upward of almost $25,000 and will be entirely covered through the Municipal Operating Support Transfer program that was delivered by the provincial government to help offset costs incurred to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, said Chris Albert, director of corporate services.
“This is another step in getting (back) to those in-person meetings,” Albert told council during the regular Feb. 8 meeting conducted by teleconference.
“In order to be able to have an in-person meeting, we have to install barriers between individuals if you can’t keep a two-metre distance. We figured this was an opportune time to not only get those partitions in place, but (also) to rectify some of the other issues that we’ve seen over the years, in terms of the functionality and the layout of council chambers,” he said.
A design of the proposed layout and style of furniture was included in background information as part of council’s agenda package, which is available on the town’s website.
“We think this is the best option. It is the most value for our dollar,” he said.
Coun. Richard Warnock moved that council continue to support administration's efforts to proceed with the chamber furniture enhancement project.
Coun. Rob Wolfe asked if the cost of new chairs, which were not included as an option in the plan presented by administration, had been considered.
“We did not look at new chairs,” said Linda Nelson, chief administrative officer. “I’m sure if council would like us to look at that some time in the near future, we can certainly go ahead and get some quotes."
In the absence of further questions or discussion, Mayor Terry Leslie asked whether any members of council were opposed. Following a few moments of silence, the mayor declared the motion carried.