Summer Newsletter 2020
Your latest news and opportunities to connect with your community!
"The Natural Place to Be"
Mayor's Message
As I write this message, the warm summer weather has arrived, our gardens are flourishing, and trails and green spaces beckon us to enjoy the great outdoors. As we cautiously move towards recovery, many of our outdoor amenities have reopened. We take all of our direction from the Public Health Officials and the Province. Our overall goal is to keep our staff and residents safe. Staff have developed increased sanitization procedures, and are prioritizing the reopening of amenities, while complying strictly with Provincial and Health Unit guidelines. I thank you all for your patience as we work hard to get our operations and economy up and running again.

I am saddened by the cancellation of many of our programs that have brought the Seguin community together over the years. Specifically, the Township swim program, fall fairs, and special events have been cancelled for this summer.

Your Council is moving into the review process for our Official Plan. Given the COVID-19 situation, community consultation will take many alternate forms to the traditional open houses. In addition, your Council will be seeking public input into a draft bylaw regulating Short Term Accommodations. More information will be forthcoming on these public consultation initiatives in the coming weeks, so please continue to visit our website at seguin.ca and sign up for news at seguin.ca/subscribe to have the information sent directly to your inbox.

As restrictions relax and businesses reopen, we must do everything we can to keep the cases in our area from spiking. We are fortunate that the North Bay Parry Sound District has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the Province. I am confident that this is because of your efforts to follow the Public Health guidelines and protocols. We need to keep this up. Frequent hand washing and physical distancing are proving to be the key to staying healthy and safe. As you support our local businesses, please follow our health officials’ advice and wear a mask if you can, respect floor markings or barriers, and shop with purpose by not handling items you don’t intend to purchase. Folks working in retail stores are our neighbours, so please be kind and patient as they attend to your needs. As a caring community, it is up to all of us to support our local economy and to continue efforts to keep everyone safe and healthy.

I want to thank all of the members of our Seguin staff. Seguin has continued to provide services throughout the pandemic by telephone, online and by appointment at the Township offices. Our Building Department has extended it hours to cope with the busy summer season. Seguin Staff are dedicated to providing the very best services for all of you. They are very special in every way.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Council meetings are being held virtually and streamed live on our YouTube channel. Information on how to participate can be found at seguin.ca/councilmeetings.

Earlier this month, Seguin experienced the departure of Chris Madej, Chief Administrative Officer. Chris contributed substantially to the success of the Township, first as Director of Planning, and later as Chief Administrative Officer. Representing Seguin on many regional committees and initiatives, Chris shared his expertise with many colleagues and other townships. I would like to personally thank Chris for the professional leadership he brought to the position and I wish him the very best in his future endeavours. As Council looks to fill this vacancy on a permanent basis, Michele Fraser, the Township’s Chief Financial Officer, will act as the Interim Chief Administrative Officer.

As we all strive to get outside and bring normalcy to our lives, I want to remind you that children are often playing in the streets so please slow down and obey all speed limits. Fire ratings are posted regularly at seguin.ca/firerating and throughout the community. Please be safe and respect the signage and your community.

Summer 2020 will not be like any other in recent memory. I hope that all of the residents of Seguin will cooperate with the public health guidelines, support our local businesses and treat everyone in the community with respect and a special dose of caring and patience. We will get through this together.

Stay well everyone.

Regards,
Mayor Ann MacDiarmid
Update from WPSHC
West Parry Sound Health Centre is thankful to everyone who is helping to keep our community safe and informed.
 
While the West Parry Sound COVID-19 Assessment Centre has noticed a significant increase in phone calls, we sincerely appreciate the community for calling for information or to book an appointment. This has allowed us to ensure the safety of our staff and the patients who attend the testing centre. Following Premier Ford's announcement on May 24, anyone who is concerned they have COVID-19, may call the Assessment Centre to arrange a test.
 
We would like to remind everyone, that the test is just a snapshot in time, and being negative one day does not mean you are not positive the next. It is still essential that people monitor for symptoms and have another test done if they develop any symptoms. We would also like to remind everyone that if they develop symptoms, they must self-isolate at home, as well as their close contacts. Anyone can reach the West Parry Sound COVID-19 Assessment Centre by calling: 705-746-4540 ext. 5030 - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. - Monday to Sunday (7 days/week).
 
We strongly recommend that everyone wears a non-medical mask or face covering while they are in public, that only one person in the home does the shopping once a week, and that everyone continues to practice safe physical distancing, including not socializing in-person with people outside of your daily household.
 
Please continue to keep our community safe from spreading COVID-19.
 
Katie Hogue, Nurse Practitioner
WPSHC Director of Primary Care
COVID-19 Assessment Centre Administrator
Planning Department Update
Virtual meetings are being hosted for Planning Act applications to ensure applications continue to be processed during COVID-19. These meetings, as well as public meetings of Council, are live streamed on our Seguin Township YouTube Channel for public viewing. Information for these meetings can be found at www.seguin.ca/councilmeetings.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the Water Quality Monitoring program, and the Septic Re-Inspection program have been canceled for the 2020 season. The very nature of these programs requires the summer students hired for these positions to be in close contact, making physical distancing extremely challenging. While these programs remain a top priority in order to encourage the environmental sustainability of our lakes, the safety of our staff and community is our primary concern during this pandemic.

The new Official Plan Review is well underway, with public consultations scheduled for this summer. The Official Plan is an important policy document Council uses for making land use decisions and managing change in the Township. It sets out a vision for the community based on long-term goals and objectives. For more information on how you can have your voice heard through community consultation, please stay tuned to our website at www.seguin.ca
Community Services Department Update
The COVID-19 situation has undeniably impacted the way we live and work. Many are struggling with the change in daily routines, and adjusting to the “new normal”.

Unfortunately, our annual Seguin Summer Swim program has been canceled for the 2020 summer season. Our priority throughout this COVID-19 pandemic has been the health and safety of our participants, staff, and community. We know this is difficult news to receive, as it is difficult news for us to share. Our recreation staff looks forward to welcoming your children back each year and we will miss their smiling faces!

All community hall bookings, and regular programs, have been canceled until July 31, 2020, or further notice. The installation of ice at the Humphrey Arena has been postponed until mid-late August and the Humphrey Museum will remain closed for the 2020 season.

On a more positive note, our beaches, outdoor sports facilities and fields, including baseball diamonds, and outdoor picnic sites, such as benches and shelters in park and recreational areas have now opened to the public. Individuals using these amenities are reminded to practice physical distancing and be prepared that our public washrooms and playgrounds remain closed at this time.

But with all of these changes, and cancellations, it is more important than ever to be physically and mentally active, in order to stay happy and healthy. That’s why our Community Services Department has created a virtual environment in which you can exercise, play and explore! We encourage you to join us at www.seguin.ca/virtual as these activities and attractions will encourage active living in your life for all ages and abilities while continuing to respect physical distancing and group limitation. This page hosts a collection of online fitness and activity programs, health and wellness resources, learning resources, and cultural experiences.

On another positive note, even though our Water Quality Monitoring program for 2020 has been canceled, we are pleased to announce that Council has approved a proposal from the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR) to continue with the planned Benthic Monitoring program that was scheduled to begin this summer on our lakes. While the work for this project originally relied on the assistance of our summer Water Quality students, the program will now be facilitated entirely through the staff of the GBBR for this inaugural season.

We hope to be able to welcome you back into our facilities in person soon, but until then, stay active and connect with us online!
Building Department Update
Seguin Building Department will continue to receive, process and issue building permits in-line with the Provincial government's mandate to allow essential services to continue operations. As of May 19, 2020, all construction projects have been allowed to continue upon revision of the essential services list and lifting of the Order from April 4, 2020. Inspections for these projects will still be performed with a modified inspection procedure, which is explained in the link below.


Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 closures, the annual Building in Seguin workshop, scheduled in April was canceled. Staff continue to be available to answer any of your building questions, and look forward to hosting this event again in 2021. 

Hours of Operation
The Municipal office remains open for business by appointment only for precautionary and safety reasons. If you wish to meet with a member of building department staff, please call (705) 732-4300 to book an appointment. Staff is available daily from 8:30am-4:30pm to assist you, and effective Wednesday, June 3rd, our building department hours of operation will be extended on Wednesdays & Fridays. On those days, we will be open by appointment only from 7:30am - 4:30pm. To contact the building department before 8:30am, please contact extension 224.
Public Works Update
Roads
It has been a very productive and efficient spring for Public Works. Calcium application is well underway on our roads, and all constructions projects that had been planned for 2020 are expected to continue.

The following is a list of planned construction projects for 2020:
 
  • James Bay Junction Road - Re-surfacing - 3.3 km
  • Clear Lake Road - Slurry Seal - 7.4 km
  • Turtle Lake Road (Phase 2) - Paving and Surface Treatment - 8.0 km
  • Loucks Road - Drainage Improvements - 1.0 km
  • Horseshoe Lake Road - Resurfacing - 1.6 km
  • Hunter Drive - Drainage and Road Repair - 150 m
  • Sunnyshores Estates Road / Lynberry Road Drainage Improvements. 750 m
Waste
Below is a summary of what to expect these days at our waste sites:

  • Due to Covid-19, our special waste events have been canceled for the season. The Seguin landfill will continue to accept bulky events during regular operating hours. Please note that the Seguin landfill remains on winter hours until further notice (Open Wednesday, Friday and Saturday - 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.) Due to high volume and COVID-19 physical distancing requirements limiting the number of entrants at one time, residents are reminded that their expected wait time to enter the landfill may be longer than usual. Please be patient and kind with Staff and other facility users. Thank you.

  • The Re-use Center at the Landfill is closed until further notice.

  • Liquor and beer bottles are not being collected at our transfer stations at this time. Please hold onto them until a future date, dispose of them in the container recycling bin at the transfer station, or return them to the Beer Store for a refund. Please visit this LINK for their COVID 19 procedures.

  • Good news! The textile program is starting to ramp up again and there will be notifications in the near future about when you can start to drop off your items for Diabetes Canada at our transfer sites. Please save your textiles - don't throw them out - and wait for this program to restart.

  • We are in the process of painting and relabeling our transfer sites to "freshen them up'!
RECYCLING 101
Here is a list of some of the things you can recycle at each of our transfer stations:
CONTAINERS
  • Clear & coloured glass
  • Steel
  • Aluminum trays and foil
  • Plastic containers
  • Plastic soft drink bottles
  • Tubs & lids
FIBRES
  • Newspaper & mixed paper
  • Phone books
  • Boxboard
  • Brown paper bags
  • Cardboard
  • Magazines & flyers
  • Wax coated milk & juice cartons
Fire Department News
Fire services logo
We realize the rules and restrictions surrounding fire ratings can be confusing. Here we will attempt to answer some of your 'burning' questions - pardon the pun!

Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
I am using this time at home to do yard work and I have a pile of leaves I need to burn. Do I need a fire permit?

Answer:
In our region, you must follow certain rules to have an outdoor fire.

If a low or moderate fire rating is in effect, by law, you need a fire permit to burn wood, brush, leaves and grass outside during the fire season (April 1 – October 31) unless you follow all the rules outlined below:

  • ignite the fire no sooner than 2 hours before sunset and extinguish it no later than 2 hours after sunrise
  • burn only a single pile at any one time
  • ensure the pile is less than 2 metres in diameter and less than 2 metres high
  • keep the fire at least 2 metres from any flammable materials
  • have tools or water adequate to contain the fire at the fire site
  • ensure a responsible person tends the fire until it is extinguished

Also

  • conditions allow it to burn safely until extinguished
  • you take all necessary steps to tend, control and extinguish the fire
  • you are not having an open fire in a restricted fire zone

If a high or extreme fire rating, or fire ban, is in effect, no open burning is allowed at any time, including in an approved incinerator.

Remember, if you don’t burn safely or burn material without a permit when one is needed, you can be fined and held responsible for the cost of putting out the fire and for any property damage.

Question:
My kids are begging for smores! Can we have a campfire?

Answer:
By definition, the dimensions of a campfire are 1 metre in height x 1 metre in diameter. Camp fires of this size, are permitted when the fire rating is low or moderate . If the fire rating is high , campfires are permitted only for cooking and warmth. Campfires are not permitted during an extreme fire rating or fire ban .

If you have further questions please visit our website at www.seguin.ca/firerating or contact Seguin Fire Services at (705) 732-4300.

Treasury Department News
2020 Final Tax Bill
1st Installment
DUE: July 28th

2020 Final Tax Bill were mailed on
May 15, 2020.

The due dates are:
1st Installment - July 28, 2020
2nd Installment - Sept. 28, 2020
In light of the economic impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Council has delayed charging penalty on the April 27 tax installment until July 1, 2020. Council has also approved waiving interest charges on all outstanding property taxes from May 1 to June 30, 2020. 

For more information on how this may affect you and your property tax account, please contact the Treasury Department at 705-732-4300 or email us at  info@seguin.ca .

GO PAPERLESS!

Are you interested in receiving your property tax bills online?

Click HERE to register . Select "New User? Register Here" and create an account. You will need your property's roll number (all 19 digits including dashes) and your personal PIN (9 or 10 digits including the dash) in order to create an account. Your personal PIN number is located to the right of your name on your tax bill. Each year when the tax bills are prepared, you will receive an email notification of a new eBill to view.
Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport
The Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport remains fully operational, with the exception of Wings Cafe which continues to be closed to the public. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the airport has kept their doors open to assist with essential service efforts, such as refueling for the OPP, Hydro One, Ministry of Natural Resources Fire, and search and rescue operations.

If you require service, please be advised that the Terminal doors are kept locked. Please knock or call 705-378-2897 to be granted entry into the Terminal.

For anyone interested in a great development opportunity in Seguin, the airport currently has 6 recently created commercial lots for sale in the  Parry Sound Area Municipal Airport 's Industrial Park. For more information please contact Neil Pirie at parrysoundairportmanager@gmail.com.
Seguin Public Libraries
Greetings from the Seguin Public Libraries!
 
While our libraries remain closed, we are working hard to get ready to open our doors again. Currently, the Library Board is working out a plan to provide curbside pickup to the community, in a way that is safe for our staff and patrons. Stay tuned to our website and social media accounts for more information as it becomes available.
 
If you haven’t checked out our brand new Virtual Story Time, head over to the Township's website at seguin.ca/virtualrecreation to hear some of our favourite stories. We take requests! You can email Stefanie at ceo@seguinpubliclibraries.ca to request a story you want to hear.
 
We hope that all of our patrons and their families are safe and happy, and we look forward to when we can see all of you again.
Seguin Township
5 Humphrey Drive
Seguin, ON. P2A 2W8
T. 705-732-4300