Ancaster's service centre will be kept closed

News Jun 17, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster residents won’t be able to pay their June 30 property tax bills in person at the municipal service centre any time soon.

Even though Hamilton is moving into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan June 19, the city’s emergency operations centre isn’t allowing any of the city’s municipal service centres to welcome residents just yet.

“It is not part of this phase of the reopening of the city,” said Emergency Operations Centre director Paul Johnson.

When asked by Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson at the June 16 Board of Health’s virtual meeting if the Ancaster Municipal Service Centre could reopen by the end of the month, Johnson said “that doesn’t appear to be a possibility right now from where I sit.”

Ferguson said there are two personnel working at the Ancaster Municipal Centre who are “protected by furniture,” and he was surprised that the city couldn’t provide a safe environment for both staff and the public. He said it would be easy enough to install a plastic shield and put some signs on the floor to inform the public about physical distancing.

“It just seems so simple,” he said.

Ferguson said the municipal service centre is an important outlet for residents to get a marriage licence, death certificates and other essential documents. He said couples seeking a marriage licence, for instance, need to talk to a city official in person before they can receive the document.

“There are all kinds of services we provide to the public through our municipal service centres,” he said.

He said there are “a lot of people” who prefer paying their taxes in person. In the past, he said, while sitting in his office at the service centre, he has seen people lined up waiting to pay their taxes.

“They like to come in hand over a cheque and get a receipt,” said Ferguson. “It’s a service that is very important to my community. But we are still closed.”

Johnson said staff are examining how to accommodate individuals “on a case-by-case” basis to address their needs by allowing them to enter a city facility.

“We will look at a way for them to come in and (get a marriage licence),” said Johnson.

Meanwhile, Ancaster’s Village Green Spray Pad could be open soon after the June 19 reopening plan begins.

Under a Stage 2 reopening, swimming pools, splash pads, wading pools can be open to the public as long as they are not connected to slides, climbing structures or are amusement-style pools.

“We expect to bring some of them online fairly quickly,” said Johnson.

Other low-contact attractions and activities, such as paintball, minigolf, archery ranges and go-cart tracks, can open. Indoor recreation activities are not permitted, except for indoor driving ranges and rod and gun clubs. Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment are prohibited from opening yet.

Stage 2 will also allow barbers, hair salons, spas to be open by appointment only.

Ferguson said he already has an appointment with his barber to get his hair cut, the morning of Friday, June 18, “so I won’t look like a bum anymore.”

There were just over 100 active cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton as of June 15. Public health officials say the total number of confirmed or probable cases are 771 as of June 17, an increase of two cases from the day before.

Ancaster's municipal service centre left out of Hamilton's Stage 2 reopening plans

News Jun 17, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster residents won’t be able to pay their June 30 property tax bills in person at the municipal service centre any time soon.

Even though Hamilton is moving into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan June 19, the city’s emergency operations centre isn’t allowing any of the city’s municipal service centres to welcome residents just yet.

“It is not part of this phase of the reopening of the city,” said Emergency Operations Centre director Paul Johnson.

When asked by Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson at the June 16 Board of Health’s virtual meeting if the Ancaster Municipal Service Centre could reopen by the end of the month, Johnson said “that doesn’t appear to be a possibility right now from where I sit.”

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Ferguson said there are two personnel working at the Ancaster Municipal Centre who are “protected by furniture,” and he was surprised that the city couldn’t provide a safe environment for both staff and the public. He said it would be easy enough to install a plastic shield and put some signs on the floor to inform the public about physical distancing.

“It just seems so simple,” he said.

Ferguson said the municipal service centre is an important outlet for residents to get a marriage licence, death certificates and other essential documents. He said couples seeking a marriage licence, for instance, need to talk to a city official in person before they can receive the document.

“There are all kinds of services we provide to the public through our municipal service centres,” he said.

He said there are “a lot of people” who prefer paying their taxes in person. In the past, he said, while sitting in his office at the service centre, he has seen people lined up waiting to pay their taxes.

“They like to come in hand over a cheque and get a receipt,” said Ferguson. “It’s a service that is very important to my community. But we are still closed.”

Johnson said staff are examining how to accommodate individuals “on a case-by-case” basis to address their needs by allowing them to enter a city facility.

“We will look at a way for them to come in and (get a marriage licence),” said Johnson.

Meanwhile, Ancaster’s Village Green Spray Pad could be open soon after the June 19 reopening plan begins.

Under a Stage 2 reopening, swimming pools, splash pads, wading pools can be open to the public as long as they are not connected to slides, climbing structures or are amusement-style pools.

“We expect to bring some of them online fairly quickly,” said Johnson.

Other low-contact attractions and activities, such as paintball, minigolf, archery ranges and go-cart tracks, can open. Indoor recreation activities are not permitted, except for indoor driving ranges and rod and gun clubs. Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment are prohibited from opening yet.

Stage 2 will also allow barbers, hair salons, spas to be open by appointment only.

Ferguson said he already has an appointment with his barber to get his hair cut, the morning of Friday, June 18, “so I won’t look like a bum anymore.”

There were just over 100 active cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton as of June 15. Public health officials say the total number of confirmed or probable cases are 771 as of June 17, an increase of two cases from the day before.

Ancaster's municipal service centre left out of Hamilton's Stage 2 reopening plans

News Jun 17, 2020 by Kevin Werner Ancaster News

Ancaster residents won’t be able to pay their June 30 property tax bills in person at the municipal service centre any time soon.

Even though Hamilton is moving into Stage 2 of the province’s reopening plan June 19, the city’s emergency operations centre isn’t allowing any of the city’s municipal service centres to welcome residents just yet.

“It is not part of this phase of the reopening of the city,” said Emergency Operations Centre director Paul Johnson.

When asked by Ancaster Coun. Lloyd Ferguson at the June 16 Board of Health’s virtual meeting if the Ancaster Municipal Service Centre could reopen by the end of the month, Johnson said “that doesn’t appear to be a possibility right now from where I sit.”

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Ferguson said there are two personnel working at the Ancaster Municipal Centre who are “protected by furniture,” and he was surprised that the city couldn’t provide a safe environment for both staff and the public. He said it would be easy enough to install a plastic shield and put some signs on the floor to inform the public about physical distancing.

“It just seems so simple,” he said.

Ferguson said the municipal service centre is an important outlet for residents to get a marriage licence, death certificates and other essential documents. He said couples seeking a marriage licence, for instance, need to talk to a city official in person before they can receive the document.

“There are all kinds of services we provide to the public through our municipal service centres,” he said.

He said there are “a lot of people” who prefer paying their taxes in person. In the past, he said, while sitting in his office at the service centre, he has seen people lined up waiting to pay their taxes.

“They like to come in hand over a cheque and get a receipt,” said Ferguson. “It’s a service that is very important to my community. But we are still closed.”

Johnson said staff are examining how to accommodate individuals “on a case-by-case” basis to address their needs by allowing them to enter a city facility.

“We will look at a way for them to come in and (get a marriage licence),” said Johnson.

Meanwhile, Ancaster’s Village Green Spray Pad could be open soon after the June 19 reopening plan begins.

Under a Stage 2 reopening, swimming pools, splash pads, wading pools can be open to the public as long as they are not connected to slides, climbing structures or are amusement-style pools.

“We expect to bring some of them online fairly quickly,” said Johnson.

Other low-contact attractions and activities, such as paintball, minigolf, archery ranges and go-cart tracks, can open. Indoor recreation activities are not permitted, except for indoor driving ranges and rod and gun clubs. Playgrounds, play structures and outdoor fitness equipment are prohibited from opening yet.

Stage 2 will also allow barbers, hair salons, spas to be open by appointment only.

Ferguson said he already has an appointment with his barber to get his hair cut, the morning of Friday, June 18, “so I won’t look like a bum anymore.”

There were just over 100 active cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton as of June 15. Public health officials say the total number of confirmed or probable cases are 771 as of June 17, an increase of two cases from the day before.