March 25th, 2020 at 4:15 p.m.
The Dysart et al Emergency Control met again this morning, as scheduled, to continue to assess our situation and coordinate our resources to ensure we can continue to provide essential services to the public during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last week a decision was made to close the Kennisis and West Bay Landfill sites for the time being, and some questions are coming in asking what this decision was based on. Basically, they were closed to minimize and control public contact points and to deal with potential staff shortages. The decision to close these two sites was based on traffic count and proximity to another landfill. Both West Bay, with approximately 5% of the total annual car count and Kennisis Lake with approximately 8.9% of the annual total car count, are able to access West Guilford Landfill in a reasonable drive. Haliburton is by far the most heavily used site with West Guilford as the second busiest location.
Municipal staff at our Haliburton, West Guilford and Harcourt sites will be taking necessary precautions to minimize public contact and will be washing their hands and sanitizing our debit/credit machines frequently to avoid transmission. Decisions such as these are not made lightly. We apologize for the inconvenience these closures have caused but ask for patience and understanding during this emergency. We would once again like to caution everyone to please make efforts to limit your trips to our waste disposal sites to household waste and recycling waste only. We all must do our part as a community to socially distance ourselves to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Other than that, our municipal staff are still available to help you as they continue to work productively throughout this period. We continue to provide important municipal services including operating landfills, maintaining the roads, managing tax payments, reviewing planning issues, issuing permits, etc. While the office remains closed to the public, staff continue to be available to respond via email or by phone. 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.
Don’t forget interim property taxes have been deferred to April 30th and public playground equipment, the Junction SkatePark, the Arena, the Museum and the Community Centres remained closed to the public.
If you start to have symptoms related to COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please consider using the Province’s online assessment tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/#q0
Try to make the best of what Dysart et al has to offer right now… fresh air and open space. Get outside and clean the yard, pile next years firewood or go for a walk near your house or cottage, but try to do these things practicing as much social distancing as humanly possible!
Thank you to everyone for doing their part to make this community a safer place to live. Our Emergency Control Group meets on Friday and we will provide another update at that time. Be safe and it’s okay to be more distant than normal!