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Service resumption update from the Township

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WHITEWATER REGION — Yesterday, the Council of the Township of Whitewater Region received an update relating to COVID-19 service resumption activities for summer 2020. Council will be advising staff, Tourist Booth volunteers, and the general public of the changes. 

Moved by Reeve Cathy Regier and seconded by Councillor Dave Mackay, a presentation was then given by Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Robert Tremblay. He said the Municipal Emergency Control Group continues to meet to review COVID-19 measures. At its meeting of June 10, the CAO and management team presented service resumption activities for summer 2020. A cost containment and financial implications report was previously provided by the Treasurer, Sean Crozier. It was stated a summary of COVID-19 expenses will be provided in the fall.

The update was received for information purposes as staff brought a report to Council in May regarding the postponement of the opening of the Tourist Booth until July 1, “for the safety of our elderly population,” said the CAO. 

Council authorized the postponement and directed staff to open the rest stop and washroom facilities at the Veterans Memorial Park to the public as early as June 22. While current pandemic situation and the government’s staged reopening continues to evolve, the Emergency Order has been extended. 

Parks, Boat Launches, Beaches & Sports Fields
These facilities are now open per Provincial orders. Organized team sports are not permitted at this time on sports fields, including ball diamonds. Benches and picnic tables may be used, however, users are reminded of physical distancing and good hygiene practices. Boat launches were previously opened in May.

Playgrounds and Play Structures
These elements remain closed. They will only reopen when safe to do so and in accordance with Provincial orders and Health Unit recommendations.

Municipal Landfill
The landfill is open Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Tourist Booth
Considering the present situation and to continue to protect the health and safety of staff and volunteers, staff are recommending the Tourist Booth remain closed for the 2020 season as physical distancing measures will be difficult to enforce and to protect the safety and well-being of volunteers. Information can be obtained from the Municipal Office and website as mitigating measure.

Public Washrooms
The washroom facilities at Veterans Memorial Park, Cobden Beach and Little Lakes will be opened from July 6 to August 29 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. This will ensure they can be cleaned in keeping with Health Unit recommendations. The shower/bathroom unit at Veterans Memorial Park will remain closed. The portable washroom at the Boat Launch in Cobden will be removed as of July 6 or earlier as it cannot be maintained/cleaned/sanitized based on Health Unit recommendations.

Indoor Recreation
Arena slabs will remain closed for the summer season to ensure staff resources are deployed to other areas and group limits are followed.

Municipal Office – Front Counter
The office will re-open on Monday [June 22] at 8:30 a.m., and will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Precautions will be in place for the health and safety of staff and clients. These include, limits to number of people at counter or in the queue, signage, protective glass, and separate entry and exits. Clients are strongly recommended to wear masks or other face coverings.

Township Buildings
The remainder of Township building remain closed to the public. Appointments with staff should be undertaken by telephone, email or electronic meeting.

Municipal Garages
Summer maintenance and construction work is on-going with staff deployed from the Mineview and Westmeath garages.