The Lakefield Farmers market opened up last Thursday for their first market of the season! Market goers were stopped before entering to sanitize their hands and asked to stay behind the roped off booths until time of purchase as well as to maintain physical distancing with both fellow market goers and workers.
by Vanessa Stark
During the Tuesday night virtual council meeting for Selwyn, a new economic recovery strategy was put forward for the Township.
The recommendation submitted to council included nine key points that were developed by management and departmental staff who all contributed ideas and options for the strategy.
The nine key points included:
1. An extension of the municipal financial support program (e.g. waiver of interest and penalties) passed at the March 28, 2020 meeting of council. Some updates were included in the recommendation for this point such as waving burn permits, support for the library to offer fine-free check-ins ,and provision of up to 150 free blue boxes.
2. A multimedia marketing campaign designed to promote local Selwyn businesses. This would mean remodeling the Townships 2020 Our Small Towns marketing campaign to provide for broad support and promotion of the different sectors of the economy (retail, construction, restaurants, accommodation, tourism, etc.) as the re-opening and recovery evolves. The proposed campaign would not require any financial contribution from the business community.
3. Waiving Township rental fees for not for profit organizations. The Township has lease agreements in place with numerous not for profit organizations for the use of Township owned facilities for their operations/programs. The recommendation proposed that the annual lease amounts for these organizations be reduced by the equivalent of 5 months rent.
4. Waiving Township rental fees for not for profit organizations. There were two options for this point as updating the current Community Improvement Plan would take months of work and consultation. One option is to consult with businesses and roll out a new plan in 2021 while the other option would see the Township provide a grant to the Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) for the purposes of administering a funding program. The program would provide an opportunity for eligible Selwyn Township applicants to obtain a grant to assist with COVID-19 related adaptation costs.
5. Provide support to businesses to access Federal, Provincial and Municipal financial relief programs. Staff have been actively reaching out to businesses, responding to inquiries, monitoring the development of Federal and Provincial support programs.
6. Establish measures to assist the construction industry to restart building activities. The recommendation stated that staff have analyzed previous years building permit activity in an effort to develop a program that would be meaningful; would support residents and small businesses who have been negatively impacted by COIVD-19; and would provide the maximum benefit for the investment being made. The proposed program would provide for a waiver of building permit fees for construction projects valued at $75,000 or less (permit value of $1,090.50). These projects are typically a small addition, a renovation, a garage or large storage shed, pool or deck.
7. Assist local organizations to provide affordable recreational activities. This point deals with many unknowns, however, staff are investigating is the potential of a partnership with Jumpstart wherein the Township would provide them with a grant to support their program within the Selwyn community.
8. Accelerate township purchases to create local economic activity. The township would commit to processing and issuing payment for invoices received within 15 days of billing as opposed to within 30 days of billing. This would have a significant positive impact on the cash flow of our suppliers and service providers.
9. Support and/or organize Township community event(s) designed to bring local residents together and which provide an economic benefit to the local economy. As many community events are cancelled for the 2020 year and rescheduled for 2021 at a time where residents and visitors can enjoy them, the township would provide a monetary contribution of $1,000 to each of the events noted in the Snapshot. This would allow the organizers to determine how to best utilize the funds to support their events and provide the opportunity to attend numerous celebrations throughout the Township in 2021.
The final price tag for the new Economic recover strategy would cost approximately $561,700 for 2020 and around $135,000 for 2021. However the report stated that a finalized funding plan is not being provided at this time. There may be Federal or Provincial programs available to municipalities to help offset some of the costs incurred related to COVID-19. Depending on the structure of any such program, some of the costs of the Recovery Strategy may be eligible for that funding. Otherwise the Township would need to rely on contributions from applicable reserves to support the Strategy.
Council commended staff for their hard work and dedication in putting this report and recommendation together. After clarifying some of the key points the motion to adopt the report for information and that staff be directed to proceed with the initiatives as outlined in the Strategy.
There was a recorded vote and the motion was passed unanimously.
To view the full drafted Snapshot, visit the townships online agenda for May 26, 2020 on their website at www.selwyntownship.ca.
by Terry McQuitty
What will the Summer on the lakes be with the onslaught of COVID-19? This was the fucus of a Lake Alliance meeting that took place last Thursday via ZOOM.
According to John McGregor of the Birchcliff Property Association the meeting was called so that Cottager and Road Associations and other organizations operating on the Lakes, could hear what public health and our municipal governments are recommending regarding COVID-19, and what social distancing protocols at the Lake might look like? Associations could then pass this information on to their members and make decisions about cancelling events planned for the summer. It is going to be a summer unlike any we have ever experienced before.
Over 30 people tuned in to the meeting including representation from Peterborough County, Douro-Dummer, Selwyn and North Kawartha councils. Other stakeholders included environmental organizations, Cottage associations as well as municipal employees.
Attendees and stakeholders were introduced by Jim Patterson with the first speaker being Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. Dr Salvaterra gave a powerpoint presentation outlining the challenges and realities of COVID-19 in Cottage Country. Those tuned in to the meeting were sent the presentation via email so it could be shared with the lakefront community.
Salvaterra stressed that this would not be the typical summer and gave a list of ways people could enjoy the season while minimizing risk.
Salvaterra stated that cottagers coming up for the summer should self isolate for 14 days and bring their supplies from whence they came. Salvaterra also suggested that large family gatherings are not allowed at this point so the use of the family cottage should be split sequentially among the family. Smaller groups for shorter periods.
Andy Mitchell spoke on behalf of Peterborough County (deputy warden)as well as the Township of Selwyn (mayor). Mitchell quoted Winston Churchill when describing how we are progressing in regard to the pandemic. Mitchell said “We are at the end of the beginning”
By this Mitchell meant that we have moved past stay at home orders for all non-essential workers and are starting to reopen the economy. As they spoke marinas, golf courses and other outdoor facilities have been given the green light to open, but social distancing and proper PPE is still essential during the new normal.
Kasper Franciszkiewicz, manager of waste management at Peterborough County also spoke to the ZOOM meeting. Franciszkiewicz went over the new waste contract signed by the county and various rules and regulations regarding garbage and recycling pick-up. Franciszkiewicz also mentioned that due to COVID-19 many landfill sites and transfer stations had closed or limited drop off during the pandemic. Franciszkiewicz included a document outlining the guidelines for recycling for those who attended the meeting which is meant to be shared with members of their organizations.
Douro-Dummer Deputy Mayor Karl Moher spoke of some of the actions being taken by Douro-Dummer to address the pandemic. Moher pointed out that the municipality wanted to give an economic hand up to township businesses and are looking at economic development programs to accomplish this. Moher also said that the township was looking in to the fishing issues on township wharfs.
Roman Mizuk, North Kawartha councillor also presented to the meeting. Mizuk spoke of what he called the elephant in the room. Mizuk described an us verses them attitude when it came to locals verses seasonal residents. He referred to the “vocal locals” who are being very unwelcoming to the seasonals who are responsible for economic success in North Kawartha.
Mizuk commented that his topic of conflict was being deflected, but meeting mediator, Jim Patterson stated that “we are not here to speak about this conflict, but rather to discuss life around the lake this summer.” then muted Mizuk.
Ed Paleczny of the Environment Council presented a slide show about Starry Stonewort. The Environment Council have been monitoring, mapping and putting up signs regarding Starry Stonewart.
Paleczny explained that we can not eradicate Starry Stonewart, but it can be minimized through a number of procedures. Paleczny warned that harvesting the weed could actually increase the spread of SSW and pointed out that it also requires a permit to harvest weeds on the Trent Severn Waterway.
Paleczny pointed out that funding for the evasive species program had been slashed by the Ford government and the Trent Severn had been spending money on infrastructure that took some funding away from the environmental side.
It was agreed that the lake would be different this year. Dances, regattas and gatherings will most likely not take place, but the lakes are still present to enjoy.
Drive-Through Testing for COVID-19 Available
Selwyn adopts economic recovery strategy
Life around the lakes during the COVID-19 pandemic
In this week's print edition
Investigation leads to drug and forgery charges
Local high school teacher charged
Selwyn opens beaches to public
Cottagers and Ratepayers meeting delayed
Trent Lakes defers making decision on MAT
ServiceOntario open to public
Health and safety top priority as schools remain closed
BEL Rotary Supports the Youth Emergency Shelter
Regional business count launches June 15
How to properly contact the police
New Programs Focus on Hospitality Workers and Apprentices
Cooking “from scratch” with Lenore Kuch
Editorial by Terry McQuitty
Accidental Columnist by Marnie Clement
Bird Column by Rachel Lancashire
Mature Living by Terri Williams Kinghorn
Book Review by Barry Mutter
@yourlibrary by Kacie Gardiner
Story Time at the Buckhorn Library
Golden Years Club Update
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Starting on Wednesday, May 27, local residents without symptoms can access drive-through testing for COVID-19 at the Kinsmen Civic Centre on a first-come, first-served basis.
This announcement was made Tuesday by local healthcare partners Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC), Peterborough County-City Paramedics, and Peterborough Public Health. Residents with symptoms are directed to book an appointment with the PRHC COVID-19 Assessment Centre by calling 705-876-5086.
Drive-through testing for asymptomatic residents will be provided at the Kinsmen Centre by the Peterborough Paramedics, who will take specimens using a nasopharyngeal swab and then send it to a public health lab for analysis. Residents who arrive by other means, such as on foot or by bicycle, will also be tested. Testing is available from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. seven days a week starting Wednesday, May 27. The Kinsmen Centre is located at 1 Kinsmen Way, just off Sherbrooke St. Residents are asked to bring their Ontario Health Card.
Individuals are asked to stay in their vehicles and/or maintain appropriate physical distancing while waiting to be tested.
“Peterborough Paramedics are proud to continue to enhance our paramedical services throughout the City and County,” said Randy Mellow, Chief of Peterborough Paramedics. “The expansion of testing at drive-through locations is another collaborative effort in the fight against COVID-19 that we have seen throughout this pandemic in our community. I am incredibly proud of our team and our community.”
While testing is available for anyone who is worried about being exposed to COVID-19, health partners strongly encourage those who work in public-facing roles or in close quarters with fellow employees to get tested.
“We are hoping that anyone who works in a frontline role, such as grocery clerks, factory workers, pharmacy staff and other service providers will take advantage of this opportunity to get tested, even if they are not symptomatic,” said Dr. Rosana Salvaterra, Medical Officer of Health. “This will help us identify positive cases early so we can follow up and test their close contacts to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.”
“As of Tuesday’s date, PRHC has tested more than 5,100 people for COVID-19,” said Dr. Lynn Mikula, VP, Chief of Staff and Chief Medical Executive at PRHC. “We are pleased to partner with Peterborough County-City Paramedics and Peterborough Public Health to make this additional drop-in testing option available in our community for people who do not have symptoms. PRHC’s COVID-19 Assessment Centre continues to provide medical assessments and testing for patients who have symptoms of COVID-19. To avoid crowding, line-ups and wait times, PRHC continues to ask community members to call the Assessment Centre directly at 705-876-5086 to book an appointment. This phone line is open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., seven days a week.”
The City of Peterborough was also acknowledged for their partnership in making the Kinsmen Civic Centre available for the drive-through testing clinic.
“Thank you to Peterborough Public Health, Peterborough Paramedics, and Peterborough Regional Health Centre for working together on behalf of our community to provide another way for people to get tested for COVID-19,” Mayor Diane Therrien said. “Drive-through testing at the City’s Kinsmen Civic Centre property is a convenient, safe way for people to get tested to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”
For more information about COVID-19, please visit www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca.
Unheralded the documentary
"Unheralded" chronicles a week in the life of "The Lakefield Herald", a local newspaper published in Lakefield, Ontario. Whether writing about dog shows and 100th birthdays, or telling stories of citizen opposition and community loss - local news reporters have a difficult job, especially when the readers are their neighbours. "Unheralded" is an NFB-TVO Calling Card production.