When Meaford's councillors return from their August break, their meetings will once again be held in public.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, council meetings have been held virtually and streamed live on YouTube since April, however with restrictions eased on social gatherings, council meetings will return to public settings with a few changes.
“Staff have been working over the month of August to safely transition to in-person meetings for the fall. We have determined that in-person meetings can resume come September with additional safety measures in place, including proper physical distancing and requiring mask,” Acting Clerk Hannah McCulloch told The Independent. “Upcoming council meetings will be moved to the Meaford Hall Opera House, beginning with the meeting on September 14. This space is accessible, has ample space for required physical distancing, and is properly equipped with the necessary lighting and audio capabilities. It will also ensure that members of Council, staff, and the public can attend these meetings safely in one room.”
McCulloch advised that those who wish to attend public council meetings should be aware of the following:
Screening will be required upon entry, with personal details to be given for contact tracing such as name and phone number. Every member of the public who wishes to attend will be required to sign in;
Sanitizer will be provided on site;
Paper materials and agendas will not be provided, but attendees are encouraged to print their own materials;
Wearing a mask will be required for those wishing to attend; and
Signing up for deputations and public questions with the Clerk prior to council meetings will still apply.
“Meetings will begin for 1 p.m. as of September 14, rather than our typical start time of 3 p.m. This will allow for the proper staff coverage required for the additional set-up at Meaford Hall,” McCulloch advised.
For those who cannot attend public council meetings, Rogers TV will be broadcasting, and staff is hoping to record and post video of the meetings on the municipal YouTube channel.