With the warmer weather and the ongoing COVID restrictions, Lloydminster City Administration is looking at a temporary outdoor  patio program to enhance business recovery, but in keeping with health guidelines.

The temporary support will be in line with Re-open Saskatchewan guidelines allowing for restaurants to have more capacity while saving owners on wait times to apply for permits.

The discussion came up on Monday 10, May at the Governance and Priorities Committee meeting. A highlight is Administration’s proposal to reduce the permit application fee from $75 to $25 to support local business.

Mayor Gerald Aalbers is supportive of the venture, especially as the existing seating capacity of restaurants has been reduced under COVID restrictions.

“The intention was can we help them ever so much with seating capacity to increase the potential for their business. It’s certainly a trend we are seeing. Some restaurants and lounges in the community have built on their west side, based on their property footprint. For a property that does not have anything like that, is there an opportunity.”

While there is existing regulations for outdoor patios, the move is also a step to speed up the application and reduce administrative requirements.

Permit requirements may include a site plan with seating and table location, as well as landowners approval, exit locations, current copy of land title, License of Occupation and a permit application fee.

Administration staff also pointed to the experience of other communities that have already started temporary outdoor patios to provide economic support to businesses.

Mayor Aalbers sees the move as being proactive to reduce some of the struggles that businesses have been dealing with.

“I think it’s a great opportunity  to work towards the downtown, because we have businesses downtown that may be interested and it works into the DARP side. There’s many different facets to this whole process. I think being able to react as quickly as we can, which often  people say City Hall is slow to do.”

The Mayor in complimenting City staff for bringing the temporary patio program forward, indicated once Council can get this going, a business can apply right away to take advantage of this move.

The matter is to be brought forward to a future Council meeting for a decision.