Hi everyone, I wanted to give you a frank, open reminder on what you should be doing to protect you and your family from the COVID-19 coronavirus, as recommended by the top health professionals in the country, the measures we have already taken locally here in Middlesex Centre, and other measures we’re considering to help provide some financial relief.
The municipality has already taken steps to help ensure that we don’t provide you spaces to congregate. The municipal office is closed, the arenas and community centres are closed, and recently the playgrounds were also closed.
Yes, you are free to walk around the neighbourhood, but those walks should be restrained to people that live in your home.
We all understand that we need to go out and get the essentials. However, only one person per family should be going on those grocery runs. You should refrain from as much physical contact with products on the shelves as possible, and stay as far away from other shoppers as you can. Taking more people with you, unless you have no other choice, or going out more often than needed defeats the purpose of the public health recommendations in place.
- You should be staying 2m, or 6′, away from people you don’t live with at all times.
- You should be refraining from engaging in any non-essential shopping. Get your groceries, do your best to get them all in one shot and get creative if the store you’re at doesn’t have what you want, and then go home.
- Wash your hands. Sanitize surfaces outside you come in contact with, or avoid contact entirely if you can.
- And if you do not work at an essential workplace, or you can do your job from home, stay home. I know there are lots of qualifiers to that specific recommendation, but you must do your best to do so. Ignoring this recommendation will cause this pandemic, and the social distancing recommendation, to go on for months and months.
As for what we can do or will do locally to help ease some of the burden being placed on the residents of this municipality, no decisions have been made at this time. However, some Councillors are sending around some ideas, and our staff are looking into what we can do, and will be bringing forth reports for Council to consider as soon as possible.
Some things we could do include:
- Temporarily removing the infrastructure lifecycle fees from water bills
- Temporarily removing the portion of user fees that go towards our reserves from water bills
- Removing any penalties for late payments of water bills or property taxes for a period of time
- And so on.
I think it’s important to note that Council has chosen to continue to pay our staff, many of which live locally right here in Middlesex Centre, including our part-time staff. We have chosen to engage them in this effort to clean up and sanitize our facilities and get started on projects that would have started later this year. This keeps paycheques going to some of the people that need it most, including our part-time staff.
We also need to accelerate a change to our municipal Council meeting procedure by-law in order to allow for virtual meetings, and once that’s in place we can continue to host Council meetings in a new way. That should also come shortly.
For now, staff are working on a preliminary set of options and recommendations that Council should see on Monday, and then we can discuss those and hold a meeting to begin making decisions after that. If you have a suggestion that would make a meaningful impact on you and your neighbours, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, or text it to 226-909-1189. I would prefer to get these in text format so I can easily compile them, boil them down to the most common suggestions, and send them around to staff and Council as quickly as possible.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to say hi if you see me, but do so from at least 2m away. Enjoy your day.