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photo by Julie Neufeld
STORM DAMAGE: Karli Marr stands beside the damage to her home in Belmont. The EF0 tornado that was confirmed by the Northern Tornadoes Project lifted their trailer off the ground and slammed it into the side of her home. No injuries were reported. Many trees were uprooted, buildings damaged and branches and debris blown around when wind and heavy rain whipped through the region on Sunday.


Arena and municipal

facilities reopening

by Wendy Spence
THE SIGNPOST

        Since local areas have entered Stage 3 of reopening, more community amenities are open to the public including the FlightExec Centre, municipal office and playgrounds. Facility rentals (community rooms, gymnasium) are now available by contacting Tori Haffner at 519-268-7334 ext 701. The walking track opened on Friday and many residents have enjoyed using it already. The VON office and Lions’ Senior Centre remain closed at this time. Contact Mad About Fitness and Goodsie’s Pro Shop (located in the Flight ExecCentre) for details regarding their reopening procedures.
        “Any form of normalcy is good for everyone,” said chief administrative officer (CAO) Mike Henry. “This is another step (Stage 3) in getting back to where we want to be. We just want everyone to be safe and understanding that this pandemic situation affects everyone in a different way and health is the most important thing we have to protect.” He explained that staff and council have been provided with a re-entry plan for determined workplaces in Thames Centre. “There is a great deal of uncertainty in respect of government announcements as of late, therefore Thames Centre has made determinations as to how we will reopen and re-engage our physical workplaces, while strongly keeping in mind our duty, to protect our employees and stakeholders. Implementation of a rational and documented plan for reopening is necessary to ensure a smooth transition back into the workplace.” Henry said that the plan outlines key considerations for the safety of Thames Centre staff and ratepayers alike. “While the municipal office has been open by appointment only we will be opening the doors for payments and drop-in customers. Social distancing will need to be considered and one person will be allowed at the reception counter at a time. Social distancing markers have been installed to promote further safety.”
        Henry pointed out that the arena ice schedule would remain the same as it has been since 2011. The ice will be installed on the south pad in mid to late August and the north pad by October 1. “This has always been our practice and fits with our user groups and 2020 will not require change in this regard.”
        The CAO said that the municipal office has been open for business throughout the pandemic. Staff members have been receiving the public physically by appointment. They are still taking inquiries, returning messages and processing applications and payments.
        According to Henry the state of emergency will remain in place as long as the province and the upper tier governance continue to recognize it. There are four primary reasons the municipality would remain in this state. “It protects our volunteers. Anyone assisting citizens or the municipality during a state of emergency is blanket covered by this declaration. It further protects staff and elected officials from litigious situations that may arise as a result of the emergency. It assists with applying or receiving any availability of funding that may come about as a result of the emergency and further it provides our private citizens more flexibility with claims, et cetera that may come about, during the designated emergency time line. Above all, declaring a state of emergency conveys the seriousness of the circumstance to not only the residents of the municipality, but also creates awareness to the levels of government and officials that are so willing to assist.”
        Henry said that one of the ways the municipality is assisting local establishments is by gathering the necessary information to walk them through the process of reopening.
        Visit the municipality’s website (thamescentre.on.ca) and their Facebook page or call the office for more information.

Inside this Week
Single vehicle collision claims one life
Masks required in indoor public spaces
Outlining municipal capital projects
Fundraising for MS with 150km bike ride