Brookfield trustees have approved one-time payments to police and fire department members to show appreciation for their response during the COVID-19 pandemic and to reimburse them for any personal clothing or items they used while working for the township.
Full-time policemen and firefighters were awarded $500 each, and part-timers who worked between March 15 and May 31 were granted $350 each, according to the motion approved June 19.
The payment was called a “uniform maintenance allowance.”
“Our employees have expended some monies for their personal equipment, their uniforms that they wear, flash lights they may have that aren’t issued by us, shoes, gloves, whatever,” said Trustee Dan Suttles.
Despite the increased risk of doing their jobs, the employees have responded “without any hesitation,” he said.
promoAlso June 19, the trustees agreed not to set opening dates for the Jenny Junction playground at Brookfield Township Community Park, or the township-owned banquet hall.
The state guidance in place for playgrounds would require the township to sanitize every touch area every two hours and assure social distancing, burdensome when only a part-time employee works at the park, Suttles said.
“We feel that it’s unrealistic for us to maintain a safe environment there,” he said. “Until we get different instructions, we’ve opted to keep the playground closed.”
“We want a safe environment for any resident, nonresident, that frequents our park,” Suttles said. “If we can’t insure that, I think our best bet is to limit access to certain areas.”
At the banquet hall, the township would have to assure patrons are maintaining social distancing, allow no more than 10 people at a table with tables at least six feet apart and prohibit buffets and congregating beyond the tables.
“Our responsibility to the public that comes on a property that we maintain is to make sure they’re safe,” Suttles said.
The township would have to hire someone to monitor events, and that could mean a confrontation if a patron decides not to adhere to guidelines, he said.
Things will change when the state alters its guidelines or allows opening without restrictions.
“Instead of putting a date (for opening) on it and changing the date, I think our stance should be it’s closed indefinitely,” Suttles said.