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Town of St. Paul lays off 11 employees

The Town of St. Paul has been forced to layoff 11 employees.

ST. PAUL - The Town of St. Paul has been forced to layoff 11 employees as a result of measures put in place to slow the spread of COVID-19.

On March 24, CAO Kim Heyman confirmed with the Journal that all the affected staff members were from within the Parks and Recreation department. Many had been working at the arenas, swimming pool, and one was the Action Bus driver. The Action Bus has been temporarily shut down.

"It was a heartbreaking day," said Heyman, Tuesday afternoon, adding, the lay offs are "temporary." She said the town is reassessing the situation daily, in regards to municipal operations.

Two senior staff members are still employed within the department, maintaining and checking on facilities. At the Aquatic Centre, the town has already completed a semi-shutdown of the pool.

Normally, the town would be looking to start hiring students for the spring and summer months, to help with upkeep at town parks. But, Heyman said some of the staff who have been laid off will likely get those jobs instead.

"We will have some level of maintenance at the (town) parks," said Heyman.

She affirmed the measures being put in place are to ensure everyone's safety.

"Hopefully people will continue to exercise social distancing and this can be done sooner," said the CAO.

On Tuesday, Heyman also noted the Tin Cup restaurant, which is operated privately out of the golf course clubhouse, has closed. She explained that the clubhouse itself hasn't shut down, and so far, it appears that golfing is one activity people may be able to do if social distancing measures are still in place this spring. The Town of St. Paul owns and operates the St. Paul Golf Course.