Clarenville chief administrative officer David Harris is wondering what the economic impact of COVID-19 will be, including the effect on the town’s budget.
“Obviously, the longer this drags on the harder it’s going to be for businesses and, of course, that translates to the town also.”
Harris told The Packet if current restrictions drag on into the summer months, impacts will completely change many of the municipality's plans like recreational programs and more.
“It’s worrisome for a town moving forward and trying to plan. We have a summer program for kids, and various sport organizations. It’s a very troubling time really.”
All community facilities are now closed to the public in Clarenville — including the town hall, Bill Davis Chalet and recreational buildings like the Eastlink Events Centre (EEC).
Harris said they made the decision quickly in the interest of public safety, and are making any further decisions on a step-by-step basis.
Harris says most of the work at town hall regarding permits and paying taxes can be completed over the phone or online.
“There are still a few people who prefer to pay their taxes and all that kind of stuff in person, so we’re going to try and accommodate them the best we can,” said Harris.
They’re monitoring all their decisions made thus far as they follow all the directions from the province and chief medical officer.
The cancellation of all hockey in the province prompted the closure of the EEC, a major part of the town’s recreational offerings with a theatre, rink and walking track.
After the customer base dwindled, they made the decision to remove the ice, he says.
“That’s not the primary reason why we closed, but it made our decision a little easier, because when you don’t have a customer base and with the provincial government instituting public space closures … it was for the sake of public health to close down.”