Mayor Don’s Update – April 15, 2021

COVID Update

Under the current provincial Stay-at-Home Order you are reminded to only go out for essentials. The next few weeks will be difficult, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. If you are able to, I encourage you to support local businesses by ordering take-out or delivery, visiting their websites for online shopping or buying your essentials locally as much as possible.

Please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website (www.smdhu.org/covid19) for updates on the vaccine roll-out. This information changes frequently and it is the best source for the most up-to-date and accurate information.

Community Hub Phase 1 Development

Phase 1 development of the Community Hub located at 1132 Snow Valley Road can move forward following Council’s approval on April 7. Planned amenities at the Community Hub include the relocation of Fire Station 2, a new recreation complex, library and creative services, meeting and active space, active and passive recreation opportunities, as well as the potential for an Emergency Medical Services (EMS) post in partnership with the County of Simcoe.

Phase 1 of the development includes site preparation (studies/survey, tree clearing and civil works), as well as the construction of the new Fire Station. Ainley & Associates has been retained for project management and the design of Phase 1.

The following project timelines are estimates:

Release RFP for new Fire Station – early April 2021
Award RFP contract for design/build of new Fire Station – August 2021
Commence tree clearing and site preparation – September 2021
Commence construction of new Fire Station – October 2021 (anticipated completion by the end of 2022)
Extension of watermain – May/June 2022
Construction of main entrance – July 2022

Phase 2 of the development will include engaging a consultant for the design, visioning and working drawings for the remainder of the Community Hub property.

This is an exciting time for Springwater and we look forward to this project advancing.

Pilot Community Garden Project

A new community garden will be created at Bishop Park on Amelia Street in Elmvale following Council’s approval of a pilot project at the April 7 Council Meeting. Community gardens help to support food security in the community by providing access to safe, affordable, nutritious diets that come for a sustainable food system.

The community garden will offer small allotment plots of land to interested residents for a nominal annual fee. The Township will be seeking interested residents to form a community garden group, which will assist in the operation and maintenance of the new garden.

If you are interested in purchasing a plot or would like to assist with the community garden group, please visit the Township website for more information at www.springwater.ca/CommunityGarden

2021 Springwater Swing Golf Tournament Cancelled

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Township Council has made the decision to cancel the Springwater Swing Golf Tournament for 2021. The event was to be held in June at the Barrie Country Club but due to changing circumstances, regulations and restrictions, Council decided to not move forward with a tournament this year.

Each year this tournament raises money that is distributed to worthwhile causes in the community, including physician recruitment, the Community Assistance Program and more. We look forward to hosting a tournament in 2022 to continue this tradition.

Off-Road Motorcycles and Extreme Terrain Vehicles on Municipal Roads

The Province expanded the type of off-road vehicles permitted on municipal and provincial roadways. The change includes allowing Extreme Terrain Vehicles (XTVs), as well as Off-Road Motorcycles (ORM) on the shoulder of public roads. Municipal Council’s have the option of opting in or opting out of permitting these vehicles on roadways. At the April 7 meeting, Council chose to amend our current by-law to permit the operation of these vehicles on certain Springwater roadways, with certain restrictions. The amended by-law will be brought forward to Council for approval on April 21.

Simcoe County 2020 waste management update

In 2020, approximately 150,130 tonnes of material were managed through curbside and facility drop-off programs (60 tonnes less than the previous year). The combined direct diversion rate for both curbside and facility managed tonnes was 63.82%, an increase from the 2019 diversion rate (60.96%) and the highest combined direct diversion rate achieved to date. Curbside direct diversion rates for the basic level of service (weekly garbage, organics, recyclables and seasonal special collections) increased to 62.5% in 2020 from 55.5% in 2019. Curbside organics increased by 5,560 tonnes (38.3%) over 2019. Curbside garbage decreased by 4,226 tonnes (10.3%). Staff believes the increase in organics and decreases in garbage was attributed to the change to bi-weekly collection of curbside garbage in February 2020. The amount of curbside leaf and yard waste and Christmas trees collected increased significantly. The County’s curbside battery collection achieved its best results since the program was implemented in 2014. A total of 45.43 tonnes of acceptable batteries were collected, an increase of 60.5% over the previous year. The curbside textile and electronics collection programs were cancelled for 2020.

The County of Simcoe currently manages three active landfill sites, Oro (Site 11), Collingwood (Site 2) and Nottawasaga (Site 10). The remaining capacity and estimated closure year for each site is 2022, 2025 and 2024 respectively.

The County of Simcoe curbside Leaf and Yard Waste collection program starts this week, with Zone One being picked up during the weeks of April 12, 26, May 10 and 28 and Zone Two during the weeks of April 19, May 3, 17 and 31.  These are for leaves, grass, branches (sized and bundled appropriately) and other appropriately prepared garden waste. Have it placed at curbside by 7am on Monday of your week in kraft paper yard waste bags, compostable bags, cardboard boxes or open-ended rigid containers.

Springwater Spring Street Sweeping

Weather permitting, spring street sweeping will begin on Monday, April 19. The sweepers will start in the areas of Paddy Dunn’s Circle, Carson Ridge and Snow Valley Highlands, followed by Midhurst and then continue moving north. There will be two sweepers, a water truck and a dump truck to begin, with a third sweeper added at a later date. Please do not rake your sand into piles at the road or the end of your driveway as the street sweepers are unable to pick up piles.

Update

Mr. R.W. Wagner in his article in the April 1 Springwater News made reference to his thoughts about my support for locating the Simcoe County Environmental Resource Recovery Centre (ERRC) in the Freele forest on Horseshoe Valley Road in SpringwaterHe stated, based on discussion with another County Councillor, that a majority of County Councillors believe I am supportive of this. This is totally misrepresented, unsubstantiated and untrue. Since the ERRC selection process occurred for the site last Council term and to this day, I remain totally against the location of this waste management aggregation facility at this location in the middle of a forest. I have expressed this at different times at County Council last term and this term but have not been able to get sufficient support to have a formal reconsideration of this site selectiondecision by County Council. Realizing that this avenue was not going to be possible, I supported proceeding with the LPAT hearing and judicial review to see if the parties appealing could be successful in challenging this. I continue to communicate with Springwater staff to monitor the progress of this and determine how we as a Township can have the greatest possible amount of input and control over specific elements of this development should it move forward, to try to mitigate risk as best possible.

Mr. Bill French continues to make negative comments in the Springwater News about me not supporting the Springwater News in a recent Council discussion and vote. Councillor Anita Moore, Deputy Mayor Coughlin and I voted to divide (not end) Springwater advertising between Springwater News and the Barrie Advance. Councillor Moore stated that some of her residents have expressed interest in that and it was worthy of consideration. That direction for the motion was not successful, so all the Springwater advertising remains with Springwater News. I believe Springwater News fulfills a good role for the community and I agree with continuing to support it through some advertising and article contribution, as I do.  However, we are growing all over the Township and some residents want additional sources of press representation. We have received letters of support as well as resistance for this.  Mr. Wagner also expressed his theories as to the motivation for those who voted to divide the advertising in his April 1 Springwater News article, which in my opinion are absurd.

Bottom line is don’t believe much of what you read and if you have questions or concerns with what you read and it involves Council, contact me at don.allen@springwater.ca and I will give you the straight goods and the truth.

These comments reflect my thoughts and not necessarily those of council.

Stay safe.