Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Library curbside pick-up approved, more service levels restored

With Phase 2 of Ontario’s COVID-19 reopening framework underway in Chatham-Kent, Council approved a series of recommendations on Monday night, June 15, to begin increasing some service levels across the community.

The following services are set to restored, after being given the green light by Council:

– Opening of Library curbside pick-up at Chatham followed by Wallaceburg, Tilbury, then Ridgetown.

– Increased level of service at marinas and campgrounds.

– Increased level of service at beach parks.

– Increased level of service at sports fields, tennis and skateboard parks.

– Opening of John D. Bradley Convention Centre while following provincial regulations for social distancing.

“As a result of the provincial government’s reopening strategies in Phase 2 of the pandemic, it is the will of Council to restore certain services previously decided upon to be closed for the entirety of the spring/summer seasons,” said Gord Quinton, chief financial officer and teasurer in Chatham-Kent, in a report.

“Understanding this reduces the $450,000 savings that were attached to these closures.”

The following chart outlines more details about the restored services:

Quinton said his report was written through a “financial lens” and focused on the cost implications of re-opening services and facilities.

“Through just a financial lens, administration would not be recommending the openings. That said, the executive management team also recognizes the social and economic recovery needs of the community and therefore recommended certain openings.”

Quinton added: “The executive management team will continue to monitor the re-openings associated with Phases 2 and 3 and return to Council as services adjust.”

Quinton added the potential 2020 operating deficit due to COVID-19 was estimated at $3.3-million in the May, which was to be offset with $2-million of savings by closing facilities and operations.

Quinton said there have been no further substantial announcements from upper levels of government to assist with the deficit.

“During this emergency, administration has been required to move quickly and implement the decisions of Council while we all wait to receive information from upper levels of government with respect to where the funding will come from,” he said in his report.

“As the emergency evolves we will be coming back to Council with sources of in year variance and reserve funding.

Quinton said the next expected financial status report is the June variance report, which will be presented to Council at the August 10
Council meeting.

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