By Councilman Troy McDougal
For many of us, COVID-19 has felt like a real suckerpunch. Reflecting on our situation, and having grown up in the 80’s, I would like to draw on the iconic movie series, “Rocky.” Our hero, Rocky always seems to get into a tough situation. We see him taking hit after hit, then he would dig deep inside and slowly block the punches and start landing some of his own, leading to eventual victory.
These last couple of months I have felt we are a little bit like Rocky, taking nothing but punch after punch. But, we are also digging deep. I would like to focus on some of the good things that are happening in our city and how we are fighting back.
Punch: COVID-19 forced the short-term closure of the landfill leaving residents with garbage and debris from spring projects.
Counterpunch: Riverton City responded by creating a dumpster program, allowing residents to dispose of garbage at city sites which was hauled away for them. This worked because the people in public works agreed to work long Saturday hours hauling dumpsters and managing drop off locations.
Punch: Many of our businesses have had to close to meet social distancing guidelines.
Counterpunch: Riverton City responded by creating a 5-point plan with initiatives such as loosening sign restrictions, eliminating license fees, and creating a drive thru business blitz. This could not have happened without the long hours of personnel in our communications and parks departments.
Punch: Many cities have closed their daily office operations.
Counterpunch: Riverton City offices have remained open which allowed us to continue providing services such as progress on developments, billing services, maintaining parks and preparing for re-opening, street work, etc. We were able to keep these services functioning because our staff was willing to adjust shifts and implement rigorous sanitation measures.
Punch: COVID-19 created confusion from the news and high emotions.
Counterpunch: Riverton City was able to send out clear and timely communication via our website, text, emails, etc. The city IT and Communication departments have done amazing work keeping residents informed of events, assistance and direction to meet shifting needs.
We are punching back, and the common thread through this has been the incredible staff at Riverton City. During this disaster, our city staff have truly demonstrated that they care about this community and its residents. None of this would have been possible from people who were just there to do a job. In a reference to Rocky, our Riverton City staff has been in our corner and the success we have had so far is to be credited to them.