Municipalities of Saskatchewan trying to adapt to COVID-19

The challenge for municipalities, just like for many individuals, is trying to stay safe while finding ways to make ends meet.

President of Municipalities of Saskatchewan, Gordon Barnhart, says from the many conversations, emails, virtual meetings and webinars they have held, he believes the first reaction to COVID-19 was concern about doing things correctly and following the provincial guidelines.

The second biggest concern was and is financial.

Smaller communities may be asked to defer taxes, but with no money coming in, they may need some interim financing.

M-O-S has made a request from the provincial government for interest free loans, which could ease the burden.

For Saskatchewan’s larger cities that have transit systems, Barnhart says there have been great revenue losses.

With city recreation facilities also closing down, that’s another loss of revenue.

A formal request to hasn’t been made yet, but the M-O-S is thinking about a series of government grants as a way to ease the pressure.

No matter what the challenges though, Barnhart says the common expression he is hearing is that we are all in this together.

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