KAWARTHA LAKES-At it’s first electronic meeting, City of Kawartha Lakes Council received an update on the municipality’s pandemic response since a local State of Emergency was declared on March 24th.
The meeting was held on April 28th and livestreamed on YouTube and broadcast on Cogeco Your TV.
Council received an update on the municipality’s pandemic response from Ron Taylor, Chief Administrative Officer. Taylor explained that over the last six weeks, the municipality has been focused solely on pandemic response. Some of the changes to services were also outlined.
Service changes include:
- Close all municipal buildings, landfills and parks amenities to the public.
- Prohibit events and public gatherings on public lands up to June 30, including traditional Canada Day activities.
- Provide property tax and utility services payment deferrals.
- Increase curb-side waste collection measures while landfills are closed to the public.
- Local enforcement of provincial orders by OPP, Kawartha Lakes Police Service and Municipal Law Enforcement.
- Distribute emergency response funding of $1.8 million from the province in the form of immediate food and housing supports across Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton County.
- Put into use an additional $70,000 in emergency funding from the province at Victoria Manor Long Term Care to ensure the health and safety of residents and staff.
Victoria Manor is a 166 bed long-term care home in Lindsay owned by the City of Kawartha Lakes. The Ministry of Labour was recently brought in to investigate complaints by staff. Staff told the Ministry they were not allowed to wear Personal Protective Equipment in certain areas of the home during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Ministry is investigating but has not issued any orders or requirements at this time.
Taylor also spoke about moving from the response phase to the recovery phase of the pandemic, noting that everyone from staff to community members are eager for this to begin as soon as possible.
“All staff departments have been challenged to rethink how we do business, how we can leverage technology and how we can deliver services into the next phase of this pandemic,” commented Taylor.
The 2020 budget will be revisited line by line to determine priority projects that will support economic and community recovery according to council.
Council adopted the following:
- A modification to the Planning Advisory Committee’s Terms of Reference that will allow planning applications to be forwarded directly to Council for consideration and approval. This will expedite planning applications and maintain public safety.
- Create a new Economic Recovery Task Force to spur recovery of all sectors, with a focus on stimulating development, agriculture and tourism.
- Develop a new Community Pandemic Recovery Task Force to focus on community safety and well-being, vulnerable residents, food and housing security and volunteer coordination. Staff will reach out to partners, agencies and community members to finalize the terms of reference for both Task Forces. The Terms of Reference will be brought to the May 26 Council meeting.
- Changes to the Procedural By-law will allow future electronic meetings for Committees and Boards of Council.