SUNDRE — In a scene reminiscent of the days prior to the pandemic, the Town of Sundre's municipal council chamber once again looks like its old self after the COVID-19 partition shields were taken down.
The see-through plastic barriers had previously been installed as part of the measures to mitigate the contagion’s potential spread. The work coincided with existing plans to update the council chamber layout with new furniture.
The quoted cost of the project that was completed last year and included delivery and installation, ran upward of almost $25,000 and was to 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.
The April 11 meeting was the first time the partitions were absent since the shields were installed, and it was also the last council meeting conducted in a combined teleconference and in-person format.
Prior to beginning the business outlined on the agenda, Town of Sundre Mayor Richard Warnock also took a moment to announce that the option to listen in on public council proceedings by teleconference would no longer be available after that meeting.
“We have been allowing, through COVID, the phone-in for attendance for our council meetings,” said Warnock.
“But now that we are back to post-COVID and the restrictions have been lifted, that will be discontinued until such time as we will be able to livestream some time in the future,” he said.
Past councils have previously discussed plans to upgrade the chamber with a full technological suite capable of broadcasting live video and audio of meetings.
However, a specific timeline for the project remains elusive.
“We’re not sure when that is,” said Warnock, inviting anyone who is so inclined to attend council meetings to “please come in person starting at our next council meeting.”
The next regular council meeting is scheduled for Monday, April 25 starting at 6 p.m.