With more businesses opening on Queen Street, limited to curbside pickup for now, the Town is lifting its parking ban and opening two public washrooms.
In recent weeks, says Lord Mayor Betty Disero at Monday’s virtual committee-of-the-whole meeting, it became obvious the lack of washrooms was trading one public health risk for another, as tourists continued to visit.
Niagara Public Health is “providing oversight” to ensure proper care is taken, she says.
The facilities on Market Street and Queens Royal Park will be open, cleaned on the hour, with town staff on site limiting the number of people going into the washrooms and ensuring physical distancing.
The parking ban has also been lifted.
The Town, with its full-time staff operating at 100 per cent capacity, will be bringing in four contract staff to assist bylaw officers. They will patrol parks, and if there are gatherings larger than five, or people who are not physical distancing, they will talk to them and try to move them on, interim CAO Sheldon Randall told councillors. If they are unsuccessful, they will call bylaw officers or the Niagara Regional Police.
The Town is also bringing back two horticultural staff for planting and watering town gardens in the Old Town, and planters in Queenston, St. Davids and Virgil, starting Monday, says Randall.
When questioned by councillors, Randall agreed the Emergency Control Group, which dropped hanging baskets from the budget this season, could revisit that decision, given the parking revenue to be generated by lifting the ban.
Three contract staff will be supporting operations at the two washrooms that are opening, Randall says.