Norfolk staff has roughed out a plan for restoring over-the-counter service to the public.
In a report to Norfolk council, staff says face-to-face service should begin on the ground floor of the county’s administrative building on Robinson Street in Simcoe in mid-July. The space has room for social distancing in line-ups as circumstances warrant.
“The Robinson administration building was chosen as the preferred location to launch Phase 1 customer-service delivery due to its convenient location, adequate parking, accessibility features, large atrium/foyer areas to facilitate customer queuing to ensure social distancing, and existing provisions which result in minimal facility requirements – plexiglass, audio-paging system, security, etcetera,” Shelley Darlington, Norfolk’s interim general manager of corporate services, says in a report to council.
“A full range of services normally provided throughout the county at various administration buildings will be combined and available to the public at this location. A team consisting of customer service staff from various offices will be trained and equipped with tools to provide customer service safely and efficiently.”
Norfolk County suspended over-the-counter service at all locations and closed all facilities to the public in mid-March when the Ford government declared a pandemic emergency in Ontario. Access to county property has been limited ever since.
Staff is also considering general customer service on the second floor of the Robinson Street building alongside planning and development staff. This is contingent on further consultation with the planning and building division and its plan for returning to regularly-scheduled operations.
Senior staff will study the impact of “one-stop shopping” at the Robinson Street building and whether aspects of it should be incorporated into Norfolk’s service-delivery model elsewhere.
Staff is also studying the feasibility of launching “pop-up customer service experiences” at locations across the county.
The Robinson Street service model will remain in effect till Sept. 30. Plans are to offer abbreviated hours from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m. Monday to Friday. This leaves time at the end of the shift for cleaning, disinfection procedures, and other end-of-day tasks.
“A full range of services normally provided throughout the county at various administration buildings will be combined and available to the public at this location,” Darlington said. “A team consisting of customer service staff from various offices will be trained and equipped with tools to provide customer service safely and efficiently.
“All other administration buildings will remain closed until such time as each facility’s recovery plans are executed.”
Darlington’s update was part of the information package for Norfolk council’s committee meeting Tuesday.