Some Vaudreuil-Soulanges municipalities reopening their city halls
By John Jantak
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
Pincourt City Hall will reopen its doors to walk-in visitors beginning on July 5. People will still have to adhere to COVID safety measures including signing a registry upon entry, washing their hands, wearing a mask and maintaining a social distance of two metres while inside the building.
As the provincial government keeps loosening COVID-19 restrictions, several municipalities are already making plans to allow citizens to enter their respective city halls without having to make a phone reservation in advance.
Pincourt residents will be able to access their city hall beginning July 5 but they will still have to follow COVID safety protocols while inside the facility including wearing a face mask indoors, washing their hands when they enter the building, and practising social distancing measures during their visit by keeping at least two metres apart, said Mayor Yvan Cardinal.
“I’m very happy with the reopening but it’s something we’re taking slowly,” said Cardinal. “People will have to sign a registry when they enter city hall. More than one person will be allowed into the building but only one person at a time will be able to speak to a municipal representative.”
August council meeting open to public
The public will still not be able to attend the next council meeting on July 13 but will be allowed back into the council chamber for the following meeting on August 10. The mayor said it’s a much-needed return to normalcy.
Anyone who is unable to attend the first public council meeting in August is still allowed to submit their questions ahead of time as they do now and the answers will be delivered during the session.
The town also announced its annual Fireman’s Day parade and celebrations are cancelled again for the second consecutive year but Cardinal said the city will try to plan another type of activity in September when the province is expected to lift more COVID-related restrictions by then. In the interim, Cardinal noted that the town’s summer day camp and swimming pool have also reopened.
Vaudreuil-Dorion already open
Vaudreuil-Dorion residents have been able to go directly to their city hall for services without making an appointment ahead of time as of June 28. As with other municipalities, visitors must practice social distancing guidelines and follow other safety measures.
While city hall is now open to the public, the city said it’s preferable that residents contact the city through its on-line services whenever possible. Residents can apply for a permit, fill out an environmental grant application, and register for activities on its website. The detailed schedule and contact information are available on the at www.ville.vaudreuil-dorion.qc.ca/en/contact-us.
Public invited to September council meeting
Mayor Guy Pilon said the city will begin allowing citizens back into its council meeting chamber beginning in September. “By then it should be like it was before the pandemic,” said Pilon. “We’re looking forward to that because we miss the interactions we have with our citizens.”
While the livestream broadcasts of the council meetings have helped keep residents informed of what’s happening in the city, Pilon said it’s necessary to have people in the council chamber so they can understand the full scope of council’s decisions and ask questions directly to the councillors afterwards.
The city of Saint-Lazare also opened its doors to walk-in visitors earlier this week, said Mayor Robert Grimaudo. “We had a registry of all the people who would come in and that has been removed. People used to come into the building by appointment and now they can just walk in but there’s a certain protocol they have to follow,” he said. “There definitely is light at the end of the tunnel.”