Coronavirus: Saskatoon city hall partially reopening June 15

File / Global News

The City of Saskatoon is partially reopening the lobby of city hall, almost three months after the coronavirus pandemic forced it shut.

In a press conference held over Zoom, the director of corporate services, Mike Voth, announced the lobby will reopen to allow some front counter services, like bill payment and corporate services, on Monday, June 15.

It will resume regular business hours, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., with the first hour reserved for seniors, vulnerable persons and people with disabilities, though Voth added no one would be turned away.

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He said all visitors are encouraged to wear non-medical face masks and that the occupancy of the lobby will be limited to 12 people.

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Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or who had contact with someone who has, is asked not to visit.

A security guard or greeter will be at the entrance of the doors to provide assistance and offer directions.

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Voth said there were no plans to eliminate or reduce the city’s online services.

“In fact, we want to strongly encourage people to continue to utilize those services, as well as email, phone, or anything else that prevents a physical visit, so that we can help ensure that the lineups don’t get too lengthy and we’re able to ensure that the physical distancing requirement is met,” he said.

He also told reporters the city had re-hired the six corporate services employees who worked in the lobby who had been laid off during the pandemic.

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Voth said the payment deferrals and suspension of parking fees, which the city instituted early in the pandemic to help those not working, would not affect the city’s financial situation.

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“I don’t expect we’ll see a typical June, as far as people visiting to pay their property tax bills,” he said.

“Again, those were a deferral, not a forgiveness, so I don’t anticipate any long term reduction in property tax revenue for the year 2020.”

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