Mayor Don’s Update – June 11

COVID-19

The Province has announced that our area is able to move on to Stage 2 of the reopening plan as of this Friday. Our Springwater CCG team will be meeting this week to discuss what that means for the Township and how we will move forward in a safe and controlled way. Be sure to check springwater.ca/covid19 for all of the latest updates.

Cannabis Production Study

Council has authorized staff to initiate a cannabis production study. While licensed private retail locations are permitted to sell legal pre-packaged cannabis products in Springwater, the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law do not speak to the production, processing or cultivation of cannabis or any of its byproducts. 

The study will develop a definition for a cannabis production facility and provide reasonable regulations for cannabis production in Springwater so that the Township’s Planning Policy documents may be updated to reflect recent cannabis legislation. 

To allow for the completion of the study, the majority of Council has passed an interim control by-law which will prohibit new cannabis producing facilities for a one year period. This one year period is not appealable. 

Health Canada is responsible for licensing the commercial production, import, export and sale of cannabis, however municipalities have the responsibility to manage the land use designation and zoning of cannabis production facilities. There are two types of growers under current regulations; Part 1 facilities are licensed producers and are highly regulated. However, Part 2 facilities relate to personal medical marijuana and are springing up illegally without approvals and without odour, lighting or water controls.

By enacting an interim control by-law and completing a study, we are able to put a pause on cannabis facilities and make sure that any cannabis facilities that may locate in Springwater in the future follow strict regulations and are located in an appropriate area.

WSP, who is currently completing the Township’s Official Plan update, has been retained to complete the study at a cost of $13,200 exclusive of HST. The funds will come from the Ontario Cannabis Legalization Implementation Fund reserve.

Springwater-Elmvale Farmers’ Market

The Springwater-Elmvale Farmers’ Market will reopen on June 19. Things will look a little different this year as they follow the policies and procedures for Farmers’ Markets that have been laid out by the Province. To start the season, they will have limited vendors, but the hope is to add more as the restrictions currently in place begin to relax.

The Farmers’ Market operates every Friday, 9 am to 2 pm, from June to September in the municipal parking lot at 33 Queen Street W. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, you can obtain more information at www.springwater.ca/farmersmarket

Penalties and Interest Waived on Tax and Water/Wastewater Bills

Recognizing that many people in our community are affected by COVID-19, Council has voted in favour of providing continued relief to residents through the waiving of penalties and interest for property tax and water/wastewater payments.

Council has authorized that penalties and interest not be applied on July 1, August 1 and September 1 for unpaid property taxes due April 22 and July 22.

Penalties and interest will not be applied on July 1, August 1 and September 1 for water/wastewater bills due between March 31 and August 31.

Additionally, all non-sufficient funds (NSF) charges will be waived and residents are able to temporarily withdraw from pre-authorized debit plans without penalty until September 30, 2020. Anyone wishing to temporarily withdraw from pre-authorized debit plans or cancel a post-dated cheque, must do so in writing by emailing taxes@springwater.ca

All of these measures are in addition to relief that Council provided in March.

Springwater Library Offering Curbside Pickup

The Springwater Library has started curbside service. Residents are able to place their order online and through the library websites, through the branch emails or by calling the branches during curbside hours. Once the holds are available, staff will be contacting you to set-up an appointment time. Curbside pick-up is by appointment only.

Curbside Hours are:

Elmvale and Midhurst: Tuesdays and Thursday, 12-6 p.m.; and Saturdays 12-3 p.m.

Minesing: Thursdays 2-6 p.m.

Additional details and contact information is available on the library website at www.springwater.library.on.ca

New Pumper/Tanker Truck for Springwater Fire

Springwater Fire & Emergency Services has taken delivery of its new pumper/tanker fire truck. This new truck will ensure that Springwater Fire is able to continue providing excellent fire protection services to our residents. 

The truck was purchased out of the 2019 Capital Budget and is outfitted with the latest technologies in both public and firefighter safety. Springwater firefighters are currently training on the new truck and hope to have it in service as early as next week. 

These are some of my thoughts of recent Springwater updates. As we progress toward a “new normal”, please continue to follow proper physical distancing and other rules and practices to stay well and safe.