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North Kawartha update at Board of Health meeting
June 23, 2017
At the June 14, Peterborough Public Health Board meeting, North Kawartha Township Mayor Rick Woodcock provided an overview of the township infrastructure and discussed the public health issues specific to his community.
Woodcock noted the seasonable variation in population that ranges from 3,000 permanent residents and grows to 13,000-15,000 residents in the summer months. Consequently the local economy focuses on recreation and serving the seasonal residents, with local contractors representing the largest type of employer, typically operating only for six months in the year.
The village of Apsley does not have a municipal water or sewer system which impacts future economic development. The cost of housing locally is increasing, due in part to the trend of retirees moving to the area and building homes.
Apsley Public School has 129 students from JK to Grade 8, runs an exceptional breakfast program available to all students and also houses a daycare. There are many single parent families in the area who receive a great deal of support from local service clubs. Community Care offers vital services to the community, including support to local seniors, falls prevention programs, social activities and many other services. There are no retirement homes or supportive housing units in the township.
Current challenges facing the community include food insecurity (the local food bank sees 1,500-2,000 visits/year), no public transportation which isolates some residents, long distance travel to the nearest high school for secondary students, and several residents who need mental health support. The township does provide important health services to its community in the Apsley Medical Centre, which houses a physician, nurse practitioner, and a dentist.
The next Board of Health meeting will take place on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. at Peterborough Public Health, Dr. J.K. Edwards Board Room, third floor, Jackson Square, 185 King St. in downtown Peterborough.