It finally feels like Summer has arrived this week, and how welcome that is! I hope you’re able to get outside to enjoy the sunshine and warmth, the gardens and the budding trees. The trails are well used with folks riding bikes, walking dogs and strollers, and fishing! It truly lifts our spirits to see so many out – keeping their distance of course, but enjoying the day!
This week, the Province of Ontario announced that schools will be closed for the remainder of the school year, unfortunately this means proms and all the exciting end of year activities our kids look forward to all will be cancelled. The summer stretching before us will look very different this year with some delays in reopening services. Thankfully, our community is sticking to the plan to contain the community spread of the virus, but we know the pandemic is not behind us yet. It will continue to impact what we do and how we do it for a long time to come.
Plans are in place to reopen Municipal services responsibly, as well as to help with economic recovery keeping the safety of our community and staff our top priority. Also this week, the province lifted more restrictions and announced a number of services can reopen, however we must work through several challenges to get our services back online. Challenges like staff capacity after delaying the hiring of 18 seasonal staff positions, as well as adapting to the new health, safety and cleaning procedures required by Public Health. Some maintenance projects were delayed, and must be completed before the facility can be opened to the public. As the province continues through their three phase recovery plan, we will make sure that we reopen our facilities and services when we can do it safely to protect you, our staff, and our community.
The health unit’s protocols of social distancing, frequent hand washing, and limiting unnecessary travel will be with us for a while longer. As we place our online orders, wait in spaced out lines, and wear masks to make purchases from behind plastic screens, it helps to remember that we are all in this together. In this stressful world, a little patience and kindness goes a long way. We are so grateful to those folks who continue to provide frontline services to protect us, and to all of you for staying strong, for continuing with the protocols to finally put this virus behind us.
Thanks everyone, and stay well.
– Mayor Barb Clumpus