March 23rd, 2020 at 3:00 p.m.
Dysart et al’s Emergency Management Control Group has met again today and will continue to meet regularly to discuss updates and how to mitigate the impacts of the Covid-19 virus on our community.
In an effort to ease some of the current strain on our residents, Dysart et al has extended the Interim Tax Bill Due Dates (1st installment due date March 18th / 2nd installment due date April 15th) to April 30, 2020, without penalty or interest.
Dysart et al is closing all outdoor playground and gym equipment, including the Junction Skate Park, in an effort to contain community spread of the virus as this equipment cannot be sanitized between uses and we hope to encourage as much social distancing as possible. Signs and caution tape will be posted as soon as possible to help notify the public.
There is a Council meeting tomorrow, March 24th, 2020, but access is restricted to the media only and intensive screening will take place at the front entrance for all staff, council and media entering the building. The agenda can be viewed online at www.haliburton.civicweb.net. Following tomorrow’s meeting, all Council and Committee meetings are being cancelled for the time being except at the Call of the Mayor if there is anything urgent that requires action by Council. At this point, budgets are passed and staff are working away at implementing those budget decisions, the Emergency Control Group is established and meeting often to deal with any immediate priority concerns and Council has the ability to call a meeting with little notice if required for any reason outside of this emergency situation.
As a reminder, effective today, the West Bay and the Kennisis Lake landfill sites will be closed until further notice. Haliburton and West Guilford landfills will continue to operate as normal with the exception of no cash – just debit or credit card. Harcourt landill will not be able to take construction materials due to lack of cash alternatives at that site. We would again like to encourage residents to only bring in regular household garbage and recycling to reduce human contact as much as possible.
A reminder that all public facilities are closed and all programming is cancelled at this time.
Public privies that are outdoors in our parks remain open for public use and are cleaned thoroughly and inspected once per day as they are spread throughout a large geographic area. Please exercise necessary personal precautions when using public toilets.
While the office is closed to the public, staff continue to be available to respond via email or by phone to address your concerns in any area including Fire, Roads, Landfills, Museum, Parks and Recreation, Finance, Building, By-Law, Planning and Administration. Please contact the appropriate staff member as listed on our website at www.dysartetal.ca. The phone number for the Administration office is 705-457-1740.
We have just been advised of the Provincial shutdown of non essential services and will be meeting as the Emergency Control Group to determine which municipal services can continue to be provided and we will update the public as soon as possible.
As this situation is so fluid, issues and decisions will be revisited often in an effort to continue to implement best practices to keep everyone as safe as possible as we move forward. The Emergency Control Group is meeting three times per week and keeping up strong communication ties with our neighbouring townships and the County of Haliburton.
Please continue to monitor our webpage at www.dysartetal.ca as all of our updates are posted on the blog for ease of reference.
Dysart et al is a resourceful community and we have the benefit of a certain amount of natural social distancing due to geography, so as long as we can all do our part and reduce unnecessary contact by designating one household member to do outside shopping or using local online, take out and delivery options that are so readily available, we will have a chance to flatten or maybe even plank the curve in the near future.
We can accomplish this, but we all need to collectively work together to do everything we can to protect ourselves and our families and our community, which includes the local businesses that are already feeling the effects because we will all need them when we are back to a state of semi-normalcy.
Be safe and continue to keep your distance and keep watching for updates.