Dear customers and partners,
Our battle with COVID19 continues, and the entire country (and world) is working hard to ensure we win this! Some of the statistics are indicating that we are making progress, but there is clearly more work to do. I am still entirely confident that we will ultimately get this under control and begin to return to what will be our “new normal”!
MPS has supported this battle since day one, and will continue to do so. We have diligently followed recommendations from WHO, CDC and local, provincial and national authorities when making our decisions.
The provincial government has recently issued a revised list of essential services, and again, MPS falls into a grey area. While landscape construction, and property enhancements for cosmetic purposes are clearly not essential, there is no clear directive as to whether grounds maintenance is essential. There are many differing opinions on this issue, and municipalities are not consistent in banning or allowing this service. My belief is that grounds maintenance is an essential service, for the following reasons:
- during spring cleanups, there are many hazards and sanitation issues to address. These include trash and litter, but also potentially hazardous materials such as syringes, personal hygiene material, broken glass, animal carcasses etc.
- regular grass cutting and garden maintenance, if left undone for too long, will lead to noxious weed and vermin infestations, also a safety hazard
- a building (or city, or country) that is not maintained will lead to other unintended consequences such as vandalism, illegal dumping, and a general decline in morale.
Having said that, MPS will continue to prepare for the upcoming season, but will provide only limited (if any) field work before April. 20. While this may seem late, we have actually had late snowstorms each of the past 2 winters, and were not able to begin cleanups until the last week or two April. Moving our start date to April 20 will still leave us with enough time to complete cleanups before grass cutting begins the first week of May. We believe that waiting a little longer will not affect our service levels, but will allow us to help “flatten the curve” and support our health workers.
Here is how MPS is preparing to begin field work:
- We are developing strict protocols that meet or exceed current health standards, in order to keep our staff, customers and general public safe from viral transmission. These protocols include extensive COVID training; physical barriers in trucks where more than the driver is required; personal PPE’s and cleaning agents for all crew-members; morning start up organized so crews are not required to enter the building and staggered start times to prevent clusters of people.
- Our mechanical team is busy servicing our fleet and equipment to ensure everything is available when needed.
- Office staff continues to work from home, or practice social distancing and high levels of hygiene if at the office. Our teams are continuing to schedule work, produce COVID related training for our staff, and to continue quoting, selling and organizing work for the upcoming season. Our sales team is available to meet remotely, as well as estimate work and create designs. We are pleasantly surprised at the amount of interest people have in maintaining and improving their properties despite the current crisis!
At MPS, we continue to be excited for the upcoming season, even as we work to be effective in this new environment. There is no doubt that it will be some time before things return to normal, but we will continue to provide the finest service possible while still protecting the interests of our staff, customers and especially front-line health care workers!Jim Monk President CSP,