Phil Germuth. The District of Kitimat mayor gave a number of updates on District facilities during his April 30 community COVID-19 update. (Gerry Leibel photo)

Phil Germuth. The District of Kitimat mayor gave a number of updates on District facilities during his April 30 community COVID-19 update. (Gerry Leibel photo)

‘It is up to all of us’: Kitimat mayor says most facilities will stay closed for now

The District has opened its off-leash dog park and tennis court to the public

  • May. 1, 2020 12:00 a.m.

Kitimat’s mayor is urging the public to do their part in what he called a move towards a “more normalized reality” in an April 30 update posted to the District’s Facebook page.

“It’s up to all of us,” said Phil Germuth, noting a number of initiatives the District has taken on in recent weeks to address the widespread impacts of the pandemic, many of which go far beyond the healthcare system. The District recently launched two task forces to provide assistance to its emergency operations centre: Kitimat’s Vulnerable Peoples task force, which is working with community support agencies to address the needs of the District’s most vulnerable community members, and Kitimat’s economic recovery task force, which will work working with the Chamber of Commerce and the business community to assist businesses in weathering the economic storm caused by COVID-19.

READ MORE: ‘A positive move’: Mayor of Kitimat gives thoughts on new provincial, federal COVID-19 measures

While most of the District’s facilities remain closed, Germuth said they have made the off-leash dog part and tennis courts availale to the public in a slight easing of previous restrictions installed by the District, however he stressed the importance of respecting social distancing guidelines while using the facilities or going out in general.

He said the District will be closely monitoring the situation to decide when more facilities can be opened, but added it will only be done when it is “safe to do so”.

“The District will closely monitor announcements and ensure our community is ready for the next phase,” said Germuth. “As we talk about returning to a more normal day-to-day life we need to recognize it is up to all of us to continue adhering to the recommendations to keep our communities safe and ensure we can move towards a more normalized reality.”

Germuth also told people using the newly-reopened Kitimat Understanding the Environment (KUTE) to expect delays when accessing the facility, which has already had to suspend operations before its regular closing time on two occasions since re-opening on April 24 due to volume levels. The facility is only accepting cardboard products at this time with a number of enhanced sanitary measures. It is unclear what the timeline is for when they will begin accepting other recyclables.

The Kitimat mayor ended with a hint of optimism, once again reiterating the importance of respecting guidelines put in place by the Province or federal government. “Please do your part to keep Kitimat safe and ensure we can one day return to easier times.”

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Kitimat Northern Sentinel