Finances, the future and protective equipment. That’s what the mayor of Bonnyville and regional fire chief were talking about in a Wednesday press conference in town council. In an update to town residents, Mayor Gene Sobolewski says he’s been in talks with provincial leaders including Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Deena Hinshaw on when restrictions can slowly start easing.
“They talked about, with the warming weather and need for walking and exercise, that they might start looking at the possibility of some areas being able to relax and the same thing with hairdressers and salons and nails and things like that. It’s to figure out ways to start opening up some of those businesses.”
The mayor says the talks also included finances and provincial funding to help the area. The town is getting ready to set its budget in the next week. Sobolewski says that balancing the books will require dipping into funds set aside for rainy days in the past.
“The town has a rainy day fund and the thunder clouds have been clapping for the last five to six weeks. It’s raining quite heavily so we are going to be utilizing it.”
Bonnyville Regional Fire Chief Jay Melvin has been meeting with groups like Bonnyville Health Centre and the RCMP and says a common concern is the lack of Personal Protective Equipment in the area.
“Obviously we are at a lower risk than a major urban centre but at the end of the day, the hazards are still the same. We still have the health centre, we still have people that are sick, getting swabbed. PPE is critical.”
Melvin says the concerns have been sent to local MLAs as well as federal politicians. He says as of this week PPE shipments are slowly starting to come into the area.
Updates from the town are available on its official Youtube page.