By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Things are going “as well as can be expected” for Oshawa’s Economic Recovery Task Force, according to Chair Tito-Dante Marimpietri.
The Economic Recovery Task Force has been working since mid-April to speed along Oshawa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As a lower tier municipality, there are a lot more moving parts to reopening the local economy than what people may realize,” says Marimpietri.
He explains the city is subject to federal, provincial, and regional restrictions, and this results in the need for “creative, outside the box” thinking to provide effective customer service and overcome the challenges created by COVID-19.
An example of thinking outside the box lies in virtual technology, and how it’s being used to inspect properties and to provide permits, according to Marimpietri.
“In addition to the aforementioned changes in how we process and serve the business community, the task force has published an entire list of items actioned with a focus on timely service delivery and ease of use,” he says.
He believes it’s because of these “dynamic and collaborative efforts” of local industry leaders and staff on the task force and the development services department that the city is currently moving forward.
Marimpietri says it’s difficult for him to narrow down which projects the task force has on the go which excite him the most.
“To identify one project would only be the tip of the top of the culmination of numerous exciting projects,” he says.
But there is one project he singles out. He says construction permit values were anticipated to be negatively impacted by COVID-19, but have instead been “astonishingly positive.”
During the months since the pandemic began, Marimpietri says there has been more than $293 million in permits sold, and more than $319 million since the beginning of 2020.
“As the chair of development services and the Mayor’s Economic Recovery Task Force… we will continue the efforts of advancing vital economic development projects and dynamic plans to cultivate business,” he says.
However, while he approves of the work done so far, Marimpietri says recovery won’t be so simple.
“Ultimately, the road to recovery remains a lengthy and unpredictable one,” he says. “But with the community’s well-being in mind, supported by our mayor and council, the task force and I will continue to actively move the economic recovery efforts forward.”