After three months of budget preparation and discussions, council finally had a chance to talk about other key issues, such as outdoor rinks and downtown reconstruction in Fenelon Falls and Lindsay.
Petition for outdoor rinks
Lindsay resident Al Irvine presented a petition to council with over 700 signatures supporting the creation of at least one full sized outdoor hockey rink in Kawartha Lakes.
“Other communities only hours away have full-sized outdoor rinks with boards, benches, lights and heated change areas to put skates on,” Irvine wrote. “Lindsay has nothing even close. People would greatly benefit from an (full-sized) outdoor rink…and it would give more opportunity for kids and families to play hockey that otherwise they would never get because of lack of ice time and the cost to rent indoor ice time.”
Irvine wrote that the support he got from the community “was truly outstanding.” He also noted that his petition received support from the President of Lindsay Minor Hockey and the president of Kawartha Lakes Minor Hockey.
Councillor Pat Dunn congratulated Irvine on his efforts, telling council that it took over four weeks to get those 700 names on that petition.
“I talked with the petitioner and it sounds like there is a need we didn’t know about. I am looking forward to a staff report on this issue,” Dunn said.
Councillor Emmett Yeo was very supportive of the petition and asked that the staff report recommended by Mayor Andy Letham look into the creation of multiple outdoor facilities.
“We would very much like one up north,” Yeo, who represents Ward 1 which borders on Haliburton County, said. “Folks in Norland have a spot at Wards Park for a rink and they have been fundraising and working on this very project until they were waylaid by the pandemic.”
Council agreed with Yeo, and the report expected this summer will look at multiple outdoor rinks as part of their mandate.
Councillor Doug Elmslie shared with council that the downtown renovations in Fenelon Falls begin March 1.
“The work will cover from Bond to Water Street and will continue until May 24 long weekend,” Elmslie said. “They will close up the site and recommence after Labour Day. We are hoping to be done next December. Just a heads ups, traffic in the downtown core will be a little slower than normal but all the businesses are open and looking forward to seeing you.”
Deputy-Mayor Patrick O’Reilly updated council on the Kent Street reconstruction in downtown Lindsay, saying “things are going well and are on schedule, if not ahead of time.”
O’Reilly then segued to the International Plowing Match which the Lindsay Exhibition Grounds is looking to host between Oct. 13 and 16.
“There are plans for a traditional and a re-imagined plowing match next fall depending upon where the city is with COVID,” O’Reilly said.
On a more sombre note, O’Reilly recognized the 17 seniors who have lost their lives to COVID during the recent outbreak at Caressant Care in Lindsay.
Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan told council that Bobcaygeon is nervously awaiting March 20 to see if they make the short list of four communities nominated as “Hockeyville” in a competition sponsored by Kraft Foods. If Bobcaygeon finishes first in online voting, the community will receive $250,000 to invest in arena upgrades, and Bobcaygeon will host an NHL exhibition game next fall, assuming things return to normal between now and then. If they finish second, third or fourth in the competition they will receive $25,000 to be put towards arena upgrades. Seymour-Fagan said Bobcaygeon “has their fingers crossed.”
Ward 6 at a glance
Councillor Ron Ashmore reported to council that within the next two weeks the Toronto Dominion Bank ATM machine will find a new home at Omemee Foodland and will be available for the use of existing customers.
Ashmore also reported that the Reaboro Post Office will be re-opening on March 10 in its new location at 10 Peace Road. The councillor was pleased that people will no longer have to drive to Omemee to do their Canada Post business, and that the new location in Reaboro will offer every service the previous location did.
Ashmore also shared that former Dunsford resident and founding member of the Dunsford and District Lions Club, Darwin Germyn, was recognized with the International President’s Service Award from Lions International for decades of community service.