MEDIA RELEASE: Council Meeting - April 7 2020

print-logo April 09, 2020

For Immediate Release

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - Port Hope, ON

Below is a summary of key items discussed at the Municipality of Port Hope regular Council Meeting held on Tuesday, April 7, 2020. The full agenda and staff reports are available on the Council Portal. This was the first regular Council meeting and Committee of the Whole meeting to be held electronically in the Municipality’s history.

Donation to Food Bank
Council approved a donation to be made in the amount of $5000 to the Northumberland Fare Share Food Bank. The funding will be allocated from the Community Grants budget, where funding is available for this donation.

Interim property tax collection
Council authorized the amendment of By-law 80/2019 so that no interest shall be applied for non-payment of the second property tax installment or any subsequent installments during a declared emergency by the Province, until the first of the month following the lifting of the Provincial emergency declaration.

Residents on a pre-authorized payment plan who require and arrange a deferred payment plan with the Municipality due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be charged interest on the deferred payments for 2020.

Staffing during COVID-19 emergency
As a result of the declaration of a state of emergency by the Province of Ontario due to the COVID-19 pandemic, municipal facilities were closed and staff were directed to work remotely from home, where possible. As such, staff prepared a report to Council which outlines alternative work arrangements that have been required by the Municipality.

After consideration of this staff report, Council authorized that the status of employment for indoor recreation program, non-union, part-time employees will change to an absence on an unpaid Declared Emergency Leave (DEL), for the duration of the Provincial Declared Emergency. Positions that continue to be assigned work are excepted from the Leave.

Council also authorized that the active non-union employees (part-time and full-time) who do not work in an indoor recreation program position, may be laid off due to a shortage of work as a result of COVID-19. This would apply as requested by the employee and authorized by the Department Head.

Request for Provincial Order to postpone or cancel opening of spring fishing season
Council passed a Resolution to request that the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry issue the necessary regulation or order, and enact the legislation required to postpone or cancel the opening of the trout fishing season on the Ganaraska River in an effort to limit the potential for crowds and gatherings to form. Council requested that this Resolution be forwarded to Premier Doug Ford, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski, MPP David Piccini and area municipalities.

Camping during trout fishing season
Council amended By-law 54/2017, being a By-law that permits an exemption to camping restrictions for the Cavan Street Park and Optimist Park during the opening season of trout fishing. The amended By-law will not permit camping in these parks throughout the duration of the declared Provincial emergency, in an effort to reduce group gatherings of more than five people.

Request to resume operations at local waste facilities
Council approved a Resolution to submit a request to Northumberland County to resume operations at the Bewdley Community Recycling Centre and the Brighton Community Recycling Centre as soon as possible.

Minutes from this meeting will be available pending approval at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, April 21, 2020, at which point they will become the official record of the meeting.

Recordings of the April 7, 2020 Regular Council meeting and Committee of the Whole meeting are available at porthope.ca/council-communications.

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For more information, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-885-4544 x2248
kingram@porthope.ca