Summerland’s municipal hall building will be closed effective March 19 as the municipality works to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Summerland Review file photo)

No public access at March 23 Summerland council meeting

Access banned in response to COVID-19 concerns, but video will be aired the following day

Summerland’s municipal council meeting will proceed on the evening of March 23, but the event will not be open to the public as concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic continue.

Instead, the meeting will be recorded and the video will be shown on the municipality’s website the following morning.

Earlier, the municipality had planned to have the meeting open to the public, and space within the council chambers had been reconfigured to provide proper social distancing for members of council, municipal staff and members of the public.

READ ALSO: COVID-19 prompts closures in Summerland

READ ALSO: Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen closes its buildings

Since that time, the municipality has chosen to close municipal hall, the public works building, the water treatment plant and other public buildings, although staff are continuing to work.

Mayor Toni Boot said the measures were taken to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Anthony Haddad, Summerland’s chief administrative officer, said the agenda for the Monday meeting has been revisited, and issues requiring a public hearing, such as zoning applications, have been deferred.

READ ALSO: Summerland closes municipal hall, public works building

The decision to close the meeting follows a similar decision at the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen. There, the board chose to close its building to the public and to close the meetings to the public. In addition, regional district directors will be able to participate through a conference call.

However, accredited media will be allowed to attend the board meetings.

The regional district does not have the structures in place to provide videos of its meetings, while the municipality of Summerland has recorded its meetings for several years.

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