COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility for Children and Youth
As of Thursday, July 28, parents and caregivers of children aged six months to under five years can book appointments for the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine. Furthermore, immunocompromised youth aged 12 to 17 are now eligible to schedule their second booster dose if at least six months have passed since their first booster. Appointments can be booked through the COVID-19 Vaccination Portal at covid19.ontariohealth.ca, by calling the Provincial Vaccine Contact Centre at 1-833-943-3900, or through Indigenous-led vaccination clinics, select pharmacies, and primary care settings.
Community Hub Master Planning
The community engagement portion of the Community Hub master planning process is now complete, following a consultation campaign that included multiple stakeholder meetings, public outreach and group visioning sessions. The process was guided by a gender-balanced steering committee with representation from the north and south ends of the Township, minorities, youth and Indigenous persons. With input received from those living and/or working in all areas of Springwater, the community has spoken loud and clear on their desires for the new Community Hub. The Hub is envisioned as a place that:
- Is welcoming, vibrant and that helps residents uplift themselves.
- Blends into nature rather than overpowering it.
- Provides access to social services, support for professional development, and learning in reading, writing, art, performance and technical skills.
- Includes education and programming for all ages, water sports and swimming, ice pads, self-programmable spaces, indoor fitness equipment, seating areas, a café, and quiet study spaces.
- Provides access to recreation, nature, year-round activity and family entertainment.
- Includes a library that is large enough for the growing population.
- Is surrounded by a pedestrian-friendly area with slower traffic, restaurants, fresh food markets, music, culture, arts, crafts and other locally made products.
The next steps in this project include formalizing the output of the engagement process and tabulating the results into a vision document outlining the community’s wishes in each main area. Using this guiding document, the consultant will prepare a draft long-term master plan for the property’s development, including any phasing plans. This long-term master plan will take two months to come together, after which the conceptual plan/design will be created.
Midhurst Development Updates
Township staff have advised that the effluent main work continues on Highway 26 and Wilson Drive. At this time, Wilson Drive remains closed due to sink holes and is anticipated to remain closed into August. Updates will continue to be provided to the public through the Township’s website and social media channels. With regards to the Micks Subdivision, the construction of homes continues, and the developer is currently working to remove excess soil from the site. Work is also moving forward on the east side of Bayfield Street, with earthworks scheduled to begin at the site of the Midhurst Heights Subdivision later this summer. Finally, the traffic signals at Snow Valley Road and Wilson Drive have now been installed, though hydro still needs to make the final connection before the lights may be commissioned.
North Simcoe Rail Trail Resurfacing Project
The Township was successful in its application for $30,000 of funding assistance through the County of Simcoe’s Trails Connecting Communities Program. The funds will be allocated to partially offset the Township’s contribution to the North Simcoe Rail Trail (NSRT) resurfacing project, for which additional grant funding was received through FedDev Ontario. Of the $1,000,000 in total project costs, 75% or up to $750,000 will be contributed from the Federal Government, whereas the Township is responsible for the remaining 25% or up to $250,000.
The scope of work proposed under both grant applications is to resurface up to 30 kms of track along the NSRT to increase its accessibility. This will involve replacing the current natural sand and dirt base of the trail with an accessible surface material, such as limestone screenings. The project also includes replacing culverts along the trail, leveling and adding limestone screenings to four trail entrance parking lots, and installing 30 trail entrance gates to meet accessibility standards. The project area spans from just north of County Road 90 to 5 km north of Elmvale.
Status Update on Spongy Moth Infestation
At its August 3rd Meeting, Council received an update report on the Spongy Moth (Lymantria Dispar Dispar – LDD) outbreak in our area. Over the spring, the Township prepared 195 burlap trap kits, which could be picked up for free by residents and included information on how to manage Spongy Moth at their various life stages. An enhanced webpage dedicated to Spongy Moth was also developed on the Township’s website, providing easy access to information and management resources. The enhanced webpage included a reporting tool through which residents could report major egg mass and caterpillar sightings on their property. A total of seven egg mass and caterpillar hatching sightings were reported, though staff did not receive any concerns from residents regarding hatched caterpillars leading to severe defoliation.
2022 reports from the County of Simcoe’s Forestry Department and the Severn Sound Environmental Association have indicated that the infestation has almost entirely collapsed in our region. As such, the County will not be investing further staff time or funds into monitoring the current cyclical outbreak. The Township will continue to keep its Spongy Moth webpage updated as new data is reported by the Province. Residents can also continue to submit their Spongy Moth concerns through the reporting tool on the webpage, which can be accessed at springwater.ca/SpongyMoth.
Have a safe and fun August.