The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) has announced more details on the launch of Community COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics that will start on Monday, March 1, 2021.
Those who are eligible at this time, in keeping with the provincially identified priorities and local vaccine supply, are as follows:
- Adults 85 years of age and older.
Those eligible can book their appointment online at the health unit’s website at www.smdhu.org have a family member or friend book for them. For those without access to a computer or internet access, appointments can be booked by calling the health unit at 1-877-721-7520. Proof of eligibility is required and anyone who books appointments and is not eligible will be turned away. Please note that clinics are not open for walk ins.
For more information, visit or call Health Connection to speak with a public health professional, weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 705-721-7520 (1-877-721-7520) or at www.smdhu.org.
A copy of the health unit’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan is now available on the SMDHU website.
- All Indigenous adults 55 years of age and older and their adult household members aged 16 years of age and older (Indigenous or non-Indigenous).
- Adult recipients of chronic home care.
- Staff, residents and caregivers in other congregate care settings for seniors (i.e. assisted living).
- Mobile clinics will be used to vaccinate these individuals.
- Very High Priority frontline health care workers in accordance with the Ministry of Health’s Guidance on Health Care Worker Prioritization
Clinics for immunizations will take place at the following dates and locations in the Town of New Tecumseth for those who have pre-booked appointments only:
- At the Alliston Memorial Arena, 49 Nelson St. W., Alliston on Monday, March 1, Tuesday, March 2 and Monday, March 8 from 12pm to 7pm.
- At the Tottenham Community and Fitness Centre, 139 Queen St. N., Tottenham on Thursday, March 4 from 12pm to 7pm.
The dream of high speed internet to the rural area is becoming less of a dream a more of a reality. Fibre is being installed throughout Ward 7 including along the Townline to the 2nd, down the 10th and to Highway 9. The dead zone of the 5th line and the 15th is also being addressed all the way to Penville. Both Rogers and Vianet are applying to the Federal Government for a new grant to service our area-ALL OF IT! While applications are just going in and the work won’t likely start for a while, our area is finally on the radar of Internet Service Providers and the government. I will continue to advocate and do everything I can to get fibre to all of rural New Tecumseth.
Spring Time a.k.a Pothole Season
It is that time of year when we look forward to warmer days. Unfortunately, along the way we go through continuous freeze thaw events as the frost comes out of the ground. The cycle is hard on the structure of roads, which inevitability appear through potholes. I wanted to share some information about how the spring thaw impacts New Tecumseth’s roads and Public Works level of service.
The subzero temperatures require the continued use of a temporary cold mix asphalt (winter mix) material. The winter mix is an industry standard material as it maintains workability in cold temperatures, can be applied in wet conditions and be compacted. Unfortunately, the material is temporary (will come out of the potholes with freeze thaw conditions and traffic) and will likely require a return visit (once the frost is out of the ground and conditions are dry) to apply a semi-permanent repair, with the application of hot mix asphalt and the use of the hot box trailer unit. Approximately one third (25,000) of the Town’s annual potholes are repaired during the spring thaw season.
Gravel road surfaces are especially challenging during this time of year – spring thaw season. The warmer sun throughout the day thaws the surface granular material causing soft conditions. The frozen base beneath the surface does not allow drainage. The soft surface can quickly lose shape which refreezes at night creating rough driving conditions. This combined with the continuous thaw of the base material, makes it difficult to perform maintenance. Grading operations must be deployed very carefully during this period taking into consideration road conditions and the weather forecast to avoid losing the structure of the granular material.
Public Works proactive approach is prepared to maintain service levels. Material is in place and equipment (vehicles, graders, tools, traffic signage/cones, etc.) is ready to go. A road patrol is performed a minimum of 2 times per day, 7 days a week that travels every road section weekly. Maintenance Standards are determined by road classification, which generally require potholes to be repaired 7 days after becoming aware of the deficiency. The Town service level typically repairs potholes within 24 to 72 hours. Please slow down and drive with care and you may alert Public Works or myself to any issues to have them addressed.
New Town Hall
There was some misinformation circulating on social media recently about the new Town Hall project for the town. As you may recall from my previous updates, the renovation of the old school on Albert St. in Alliston was the least expensive option as it reuses an existing building which has no internal load bearing walls and I have been in support of this option since it was introduced. The fears about this increasing taxes and other projects being side-lined are unfounded. We have been selling excess land to create a reserve fund and the payments will be spread out over 20 years which ensures that the payments are low and that future residents will pay their fair share for the benefit of the Town Hall. Our area is scheduled to increase to 56,000 by 2031. Our current Town Hall is 40 years old and requires extensive upgrades and does not accommodate our current staff. People have asked-Why not have it somewhere central? If the school site was elsewhere I would have supported that option as well. What about spreading it out? This would require three of everything and increase our operating overhead costs substantially. Below are some more commonly asked questions with the factual answers. As always, you may call or email me with any questions or comments.
How is the Town Hall going to be paid?
Available Reserves $ 5.7M
Surplus Land/Property Sales $ 4.6M
Debt $ 9.0M
How will this impact taxes?
The relocated Administration Centre will not further impact taxes. The annual debt repayment requirement has been accounted for within the existing tax levy and a small portion of the additional or new assessment (growth) each year.
Is this compromising other projects?
No. Other municipal projects that have been identified in the Long-Term Financial Plan continue to move forward for Council’s consideration as prioritized.
Why do we need an administration building when staff are working from home due to COVID-19?
The Town has long outgrown the space constraints at the current location. Staff have not been working from home exclusively at any time during COVID 19. We have strived to bring staff back into the office to the maximum capacity of the building within safety protocols. It was determined early on that several services are better accomplished in the office with the potential for face-to-face interaction, especially for specific services such as sales of equipment, licensing, commissioning, and application processing. Also, staff use equipment only available in the building. Similarly, to the experiences that many of our resident’s face, many of our staff also have significant challenges with internet availability, connectivity, and quality as well as telephone interaction with residents while working from home.Council meetings have been streamed from the administration center throughout the pandemic.
Other Consideration for the proposed new building?
The space available in the current administration building does not accommodate our staff or community needs.The new space will consolidate several departments under one roof for streamlined service to our residents/businesses/visitors and customers, for example the following departments will be housed under this one roof: building department, asset management department, Fire administration, Parks/Rec & Facilities administration. This will eliminate the need for our customers to have to go to multiple buildings to fulfill a single task, for example getting and paying for a building permit.Eliminates the requirement to invest in repairs, maintenance, and retrofits of the Wellington St. Building – in the first draft of the 2021 budget was an allocated amount of $1.3M. Additional investment would be required beyond this initial amount.The Town Hall is a space available to the public for “Town Hall” meetings and congregations and celebrating events such as Citizen awards and Canada Day Celebrations. It will have indoor and outdoor space to be used and appreciated by residents, downtown visitors, and business partners.Please also find attached a copy of the updated first and second floor layouts for 25 Albert Street. Below is a bullet list of revisions by floor from the original version.
First Floor Updates:
- Council Work area (room 112) was reduced in size to accommodate reduced programmatic need.
- Open Office Clerks (room 121) was adjusted to accommodate the increased programmatic need identified. This was mainly a result of increased Municipal Law Enforcement not accounted for back in 2017.
- Room 164 Fire Chief – new allocation to accommodate fire services within the administration building (not part of 2018 design plans).
- Area 148 A – new addition to accommodate fire services within the administration building (occupying future space from 2018 design plans).
- Room 169 – removed indoor bike storage area and converted to office for Manager of Procurement (Not included in 2018 design plans).
Second Floor Updates:
- Removed locker rooms and fitness centre space.
- Created universal washroom/shower location.
- Space 227 now empty space for future growth capacity.
- Open IT area 260 – updated to reduce the number of workstations in the area and addition of wall with secure doors to enter the space.
- Reduced on site PRC staffing from a program of 10 to a program of 5 and reconfigured space to include the Director of PW and the Admin assistant to the Director of PW.
Also of note is both the lunch room and meeting room spaces were reviewed. Based on the review of +VG, it was determined that we are incorporating equal or lesser space than that recently constructed in King Township and planned for Georgina.
Contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Shira Harrison McIntyre
Councillor, Ward 7 New Tecumseth