Mayor Don’s Update – May 14, 2020

COVID-19 Update

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and so does the Springwater’s response. The Township’s Community Control Group continues to meet on a regular basis via conference call and adjust the operations of the municipality as needed.

As the new case count begins to drop in the Province, we are starting to see the restrictions loosen up. At the time of writing this article, the Province has announced:

Garden centres, hardware and safety stores are permitted to open to the public.
Stores with a street level entrance are permitted to provide curbside pickup.
Elective surgeries and procedures will be resumed in Ontario hospitals. This will be a phased in approach to ensure that hospitals have the capacity to deal with a potential COVID-19 outbreak
Provincial Parks have reopened for day-use including walking, hiking, biking and birdwatching. Anyone using the parks is reminded to properly physically distance at all times.

The Province is taking a phased in approach and is implementing strict health and safety guidelines for each of the reopening’s. Potential impacts will be monitored closely to ensure a resurgence does not occur.  

The Township has implemented a recovery task force to prepare for the reopening of Township facilities. The task force will look at issues related to staffing considerations, personal protective equipment, health and safety and the re-opening of facilities and amenities in a safe and controlled manner, amongst other things.

As we approach the long weekend, you are reminded to practice physical distancing, avoid group gatherings and remain at home as much as possible. We are flattening the curve and by continuing to follow the instructions of the Province and the local health unit, we will be successful in our fight against COVID-19.

Elmvale & District Food Bank Groundbreaking

This week was a special week as we held a ‘physically distanced’ groundbreaking for the Elmvale & District Food Bank. Each person involved participated at a separate timeso that there was no overlap and people were never on site at the same time.

The new facility will be located at 62 Yonge St. N. and will address food storage, privacy and accessibility concerns volunteers deal with at the current facility.

In February 2019, the Township committed to a one-time capital contribution of $100,000 towards the construction of a new facility and the Food Bank has fundraised $100,000. The municipality has also agreed to front end the necessary funds in excess of $200,000 to be repaid over a period of up to 10 years.

The Township is happy to support the important work the Food Bank is doing in our community.

Prepare Your Selfie Contest

Springwater Fire is encouraging residents to get prepared for an emergency by making a plan, building a kit and staying informed.

Residents who build a 72-hour emergency kit are encouraged to take a ‘selfie’ of themselves with their kit and share their #PrepareYourSelfie on social media to have a chance to win a survival kit for your vehicle.

1) Prepare a 72-hour emergency kit.

2) Take a selfie with your kit.

3) Share your selfie on social media with the hashtag #PrepareYourSelfie. Make sure you tag the Township of Springwater on Facebook or @SpringwaterTwp or @SpringwaterFire on Twitter

Learn what goes in a kit at The contest closes on May 30, 2020, so build your kit today!

Blue Box Transition Date

The Provincial blue box recycling program is moving toward producer responsibility, targeting between 2023 and 2025. Provincial regulation details about this are currently under development. Producer responsibility involves the producers, brand owners and importers of printed paper and packaging becoming fully responsible for the provincial blue box program. This is estimated to reduce the collective financial burden on Ontario municipalities by approximately $130 million annually.

County Simcoe’s 2018 gross blue box program costs were $7,137,916, partially offset by producer funding received in 2018 of $3,140,984 for a net cost of $3,996,932.Theoretically, upon transition to producer responsibility, this cost will be removed. Over 2019 -2020, the Province will consult with municipalities and finalize the regulations before year-end. Over 2021-2022, producers will be consulting with municipalities. Over 2023-2025 a phased transfer of responsibility is projected to occur. A goal is to get more standardization of materials to make recycling and collection easier. County staff is recommending selection of January 1, 2023 to target transition the County’s blue box program to full producer responsibility to accelerate and maximize cost savings. The County may have an interest in continuing to provide some blue box services, including collection, contract management, and potentially transfer, assuming mutually agreeable contract terms could be reached with the producers for County provision of these services.

Please continue to follow the physical distancing and other rules and practices as some activities are starting to return. Stay well and safe.