October 2020
Published monthly
Vol. 2, Edition 4
The Monthly Report

Thanks for spending time with us
We're happy you've set aside some time to check out the latest issue of The Monthly Report.

The October edition contains a variety of information, including the following:

  • an update on the 2021 draft budget;
  • details about our new website;
  • information about our Master Parking Study;
  • news about library programs and services;
  • a look at our new staff;
  • details about the winners of this year's Wasaga's Finest Awards;
  • a look at Senior Active Living Centre programming;
  • new business information;
  • and MUCH more.

Again, thanks for reading this edition and if you haven't subscribed you can do so by visiting here: http://bit.ly/2nyvDpX.
Wasaga Beach launches new municipal website
The Town of Wasaga Beach launched its new website at www.wasagabeach.com on Oct. 26.
“We are excited to unveil this fresh new look to residents, businesses, and other users of our website,” Mayor Nina Bifolchi said. “Our new site is easier to navigate and provides greater functionality.”
Town staff worked with eSolutionsGroup to create the site.
“I want to thank eSolutions and all of our staff who played a role in building this new website. A great deal of work has gone into creating a site that is user-friendly and informative,” Derek Bowers, chief information technology officer, said. 
The site is mobile-friendly and accessibility compliant. It also offers greater searchability and tools that allow users to subscribe to e-mail updates on various topics. For example, users can sign-up to receive news releases, construction notices, community event notices, and recreation notices. Another new feature is a Bids and Tenders platform that allows users to subscribe to receive e-mail notices about bid opportunities of interest.
“Effective communication is one of council’s key priorities this term and our new site is among the many tools we use to keep residents informed,” Mayor Bifolchi said. “We have a lot going on in our community: redevelopment of town-owned land at the beachfront, our new twin-pad arena and library project, and residential and commercial development in various stages throughout town. The website should serve as the public’s first stop for accurate and reliable information about town activities.”
Visitors to the site will note it features local images that highlight the beauty of Wasaga Beach.
“The photography ties the site together and acts as a visual cue. The images remind us of our stunning natural environment in Wasaga Beach,” Bowers said. “We plan to change certain photographs at different points in the year to highlight the four-season nature of our community.”
People are encouraged to explore the site and share their feedback. A “Website Feedback” button is at the bottom of each page on the site.
Four decades of service
to Terry Fox cause
WELL DONE! On Oct. 7, Mayor Nina Bifolchi and Councillor David Foster presented a certificate to Beverley Dix in recognition of her 40-year participation in the Terry Fox Run. Dix is one of the annual event's most ardent supporters. To learn more about Terry Fox and the runs held in his name see The Terry Fox Foundation website here: https://terryfox.org/
New restaurant opens for business in Wasaga Beach
FEELING HUNGRY? On Oct. 9, Mayor Nina Bifolchi and members of council attended the grand opening ceremony for Guac Mexi Grill at 1890 Mosley St., Unit. 3. Simcoe-Grey MP Terry Dowdall was also on hand for the event. The restaurant features "real Mexican food you will love to share with family and friends." Learn more about Guac Mexi Grill here: http://www.guacmexigrill.ca/ Welcome to Wasaga Beach!
Recognizing Wasaga's Finest
Foodland - Accessibility Award. Foodland was recognized for creating an accessible and inclusive environment for people with disabilities.
Beverly Fowler - Order of Wasaga Beach. Beverly received the Order for her many contributions to the community. This includes making pandemic masks and volunteer work with the Wasaga Beach Lions Club and the Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank.
Bill Hooper - Order of Wasaga Beach. Bill was recognized for his many years of volunteerism and dedication to the Wasaga Beach Ministerial Food Bank. Bill regularly contributes 30 hours or more to the food bank.
Cidelia Carreia - Emergency Services Award. Cidelia was recognized for alerting her family to a fire in the home in June 2019.
Council honours
community contributors
Congratulations to this year's Wasaga's Finest Citizens Award winners: Beverly Fowler (Order of Wasaga Beach), Bill Hooper (Order of Wasaga Beach), Cidelia Carreia (Emergency Services Award), and the Dopp family, owners of Foodland, (Accessibility Award).

Members of council visited recipients on Saturday, Oct. 24 to present the awards.

Thank you to everyone for your contributions to our community.
Council and staff working on draft 2021 budget
On Thursday, Oct. 1, members of Wasaga Beach town council had their first look at the 2021 draft operating and capital budgets.

The meeting began with Jocelyn Lee, the town’s treasurer, presenting a report on draft 1 of the budget. Council, sitting as Committee of the Whole, received the report for information. Watch the presentation on the Town of Wasaga Beach YouTube channel

“This report is the first draft of the proposed 2021 budget and provides a preliminary overview of the budget. The report outlines the budget pressures for 2021 and the efforts to address them,” Lee said.

At this point, the proposed tax rate increase sits at 3.6 percent. For a home assessed at $330,000, this translates to $1,914.56 in the town portion of taxes for 2021, a municipal increase of $66.55 over 2020 at this point in the budget process. County and education taxes are on top of the taxes collected by the municipality.

Compared to similar municipalities in Simcoe County, Wasaga Beach has the third lowest tax rate, helping make the town an affordable place to live and operate a business. 

As things stand today, the draft budget consists of $41-million for operating costs and $52-million for capital projects – the funds used for a variety of infrastructure initiatives.

The proposed operating budget is up by $716,590 and the proposed capital budget is up by $18-million.

Key factors for the increase in the proposed operating budget are things such as wage increases ($312,000) and benefit increases ($157,000).

For the capital budget, cost drivers are things such as the new twin-pad arena ($16.9-million), the new library ($6.7-million), water and wastewater projects ($10.7-million), as well as bridge and road projects ($8.4-million).

The proposed departmental budgets are largely status quo with continued significant investments in a number of areas. This includes the following:

  • Facilities (including the new arena and library)
  • Roads and bridges
  • Drainage improvements
  • Water and waste water infrastructure
  • Technology supporting service delivery
  • Heavy, medium, and light duty vehicles supporting various departments
  • Two new transit shelters
  • Glendale Park redevelopment
  • Physician recruitment
  • Fire department equipment and renovations to Station 2
  • Increased adult, senior and youth sporting events
  • Planning studies that support community development

Staff will consider the questions and comments received from council members and in the weeks ahead and incorporate requested changes into Draft 2 of the budget, slated for presentation in November.
2021 budget and the twin-pad arena and library project
The arena and twin-pad library project cost is $59-million, of which the land portion is already paid. The remaining project cost to be covered is approximately $51-million, of which $31-million would be financed through long-term debt when the project is complete in 2023.

The 2021 draft budget proposes $8.9-million in construction financing to cover the commencement of construction in the spring of 2021. Although this is additional debt, the town is only required to pay the interest charges based on an estimated rate 0.75 percent for construction financing until the project is fully completed in 2023. In 2021, this will add $3.62 to the tax bill based on the average assessed home of $330,000.

At the Oct. 1 budget meeting, treasurer Jocelyn Lee presented a financial plan for the new arena and library as part of the town’s long-term capital plan. She outlined how the town’s strategy will ensure the financial sustainability of the municipality. She described the town’s strong financial position and its ability to take on large capital projects. Watch the presentation. (Starts around 52-minute mark)

The staff report included three options, with staff recommending that committee recommend to council that it proceed as planned; with the project being fully completed in early 2023.

Of the other two options considered, one involved phasing in the two buildings with construction starting on the arena now and the library in 2025.

The other option would have seen construction of the two buildings deferred until the end of next year.

Staff had recommended that council proceed with the project because the current arena is at the end of its lifespan and the existing library is too small, the town’s strong financial position, and very low interest rates to finance a large project. Committee of the Whole approved the recommendation and so did council at its October meeting.

In the financial plan, Lee breaks down how the town will fund the project, using a conservative approach with known funding sources. The municipality will borrow $31-million, use a small amount of taxation, with the balance of the funds for the project coming from reserves, including development charge reserves, general reserves and federal gas tax reserves.

Council also reviewed preliminary operating costs for the library and arena. There is much work to do before the facility opens, but at this point in time, it is projected the operating costs of the facility will add $73 to the average annual taxes for a household. That works out to $6.08 each month.
Parking study finds 300 new spaces needed when beachfront redevelopment happens
At the Oct. 29 council meeting, Mayor Bifolchi provided an update on the draft Master Parking Study.

She said Michael Cullip of C.C. Tatham presented the draft study at an Oct. 15 Committee of the Whole meeting and that committee received the study for information. You can watch the presentation.

The Master Parking Study for the Beachfront Area identifies the public parking requirements once the town-owned land at the beachfront is developed, as well as residential and commercial needs. 

The study notes the current overall parking system in the area provides 2,854 spaces, of which 47 percent are operated by the town and 43 percent are operated by the province. The current parking system includes town parking lots, town on-street parking, private parking lots, and provincial park lots.

Within the Beachfront Redevelopment Study area, there are 1,107 spaces – representing 39 percent of the total parking system, of which 88 percent are operated by the town.

The study identifies that once the area is developed there will be parking requirements for 3,148 vehicles. This represents a shortfall of almost 300 spaces as compared to the existing parking inventory. Parking will accommodate anticipated public, residential, and commercial needs. 

The balance of parking required but no longer available will have to shift to nearby provincial park property or parking lots further away from the beach area.

The study also proposes alternative parking strategies for consideration to increase parking efficiency. This includes paving provincial park lots and consideration of below grade options.

In addition, the study proposes options to better utilize existing parking lots within the overall parking study area. This includes considering adding parking structures.

This study will be subject to final council approval and will be included as part of the RFP package provided to the six developers who have expressed an interest in developing town-owned land at the beachfront.
Town supports age-friendly grant application
At the Oct. 15 Committee of the Whole meeting, committee agreed to support the Age-Friendly Community Advisory Committee’s grant application to the County of Simcoe.

Mayor Bifolchi told council during its Oct. 29 meeting that the Age-Friendly committee is applying for a $10,000 grant from the county.

The committee plans to work with local businesses to help them improve service delivery to seniors.

The funding will allow the committee to hire a part-time administrator to develop the programming for businesses and seniors over a six-month period, and support the creation of promotional and educational materials.
Staffing review received for information, study will help town plan for future needs
At the Oct. 29 council meeting, Councillor Joe Belanger said the Organizational Staffing and Customer Service Review Report was received for information during the Oct. 8 Community Services Section of Coordinated Committee.

MNP consultants Jen Hayes and Ashley Clerici presented an overview of the report to the committee. Watch the presentation.

Committee referred the report to staff for review and final recommendation.

The report covered two areas – requirements to improve customer service at various town facilities across town and second, staffing requirements for the new twin-pad arena and library. Committee referred the report to staff for review and final recommendation.

Staff would like to fully consider the recommendations in the report and make recommendations to council, on the customer service initiatives, for consideration as part of the 2021 budget. The staffing recommendations for the new arena and library facility will be considered as part of future budgets.

Digital recreation and events guide on the way in 2021
Council, during its Oct. 29 meeting, approved the creation of a digital Recreation, Events and Facilities Guide.

The digital guide, in lieu of the traditional paper publication, will allow staff to make quick changes to information if needed due to the pandemic.

The guide will promote programs and events taking place between January and June 2021.

The cost of the guide is $3,000, plus HST.

Council also approved a free quarter-page ad for advertisers who participated in the 2020 guide. The free ad is an economic recovery gesture; the pandemic affected program delivery for several 2020 advertisers.
New name for east end park
CHASE FAMILY PARK On Oct. 29, Mayor Nina Bifolchi and members of council joined with the Chase family and Sunward Estates residents for the renaming of Sunward Estates Park to Chase Family Park. The renaming is in recognition of Mr. Cyril Chase, who developed the east end neighbourhood in the early 1980s. Mr. Chase was a valued member of the Wasaga Beach community. He developed other parts of town, was active in the Wasaga Beach Rotary Club, and the Wasaga Beach Chamber of Commerce. Also on hand for the renaming was former mayor Walter Borthwick and former mayor Cal Patterson. Both men knew Mr. Chase, who passed away in 2017. Chase Family Park is on Sunward Drive.
She's a real CHAMP!
YOUNG LEADER Congratulations to 16-year-old Abigail Curtis of Wasaga Beach! On Oct. 29, on behalf of council, Mayor Nina Bifolchi presented Abigail with a certificate in recognition of her work with The War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program. Abigail has been a junior counsellor at CHAMP seminars, which gather young amputees from across Ontario to learn about various helpful programs and information. Abigail, born a left arm amputee, also is active in many other activities, including swimming, skating, and photography. Keep up the great work, Abigail!
Need help with your driveway this winter? Maybe you can help a neighbour on your street
VISIT SNOW ANGELS to learn more.
The Municipal Law Enforcement Department is reminding residents that as of Nov. 1, 2020 until April 1, 2021, Winter Parking Restrictions will be in effect for all of Wasaga Beach. Under these restrictions:

• No person shall park a vehicle on street between the hours of 01:00 AM and
07:00 AM
• No person shall park a vehicle in such a manner as to interfere with
the clearing of snow

Staff will be on shift to enforce these restrictions.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Municipal Law Enforcement Department at (705) 429-2511 or by emailing [email protected]
New to the team
WELCOME ABOARD On Nov. 2 Mayor Nina Bifolchi and director of planning and economic initiatives Doug Herron welcomed planners Todd Weatherall and Mana Masoudi to the Town of Wasaga Beach.
New faces at Public Works
ON DECK On Oct. 5, Mayor Nina Bifolchi and Kevin Lalonde, director of public works, welcomed Jessica Sample (left) and Alex Noble (right) to the Public Works Department. Sample is an engineering technician and Noble an administrative assistant - accounts. Welcome to the team.
Here to serve
THANKS FOR YOUR SERVICE On Oct. 7, Mayor Nina Bifolchi and chief administrative officer George Vadeboncoeur presented service awards to firefighters Jamie Murphy (from left), Jack McCarl, and Jason Cameron. Thanks for your commitment to our community. John DelGuidice (below) was recognized for 10 years' service.
Now that's dedication!
ON THE JOB On Oct. 19, members of our Public Works Department received employee service awards. Phil Cooke (20 years), Will Piwtorak (five years), Bernard Klasen (five years), James Attwatter (10 years), Alex Montizambert (10 years), and Brent D'Aoust (10 years). On hand for the occasion was Mayor Nina Bifolchi, CAO George Vadeboncoeur, and Public Works director Keven Lalonde. Thanks to all award recipients for their dedication and professionalism in the delivery of public services.
PROUDLY SERVING OUR COMMUNITY Congratulations to six of our awesome Wasaga Beach Public Library staff recognized Oct. 22 for their service. Robin Cruickshank, five years; Jeanette Hess, five years; Brittany Pampalone, five years and 10 years; Pam Pal, five years; Cathy Turrie, 15 years; Audrey Donnelly, 15 years. Mayor Nina Bifolchi and CAO George Vadeboncoeur were on hand to present the service recognition awards. Thanks to our library staffers for the tremendous job they do providing valuable public services.
Drive-through flu shots
This fall, the South Georgian Bay community will be able to obtain their flu shot at drive-through, appointment only community clinics, in Collingwood, Creemore, Stayner and Wasaga Beach, commencing Nov. 2, 2020.

The appointment only drive-through clinic in Collingwood will take place in the parking lot behind the Collingwood Legion at 490 Ontario St. and in Wasaga Beach at the COVID-19 Assessment Centre, located in the parking lot behind the RecPlex at 1724 Mosley St.

Call us to arrange water shut off
If you are a seasonal resident and wish to have your water turned off, please contact the Public Works Department to schedule an appointment.

To book an appointment, call 705-429-2540, ext. 2305 or e-mail: [email protected].

For water shut off, please drain your pipes and ensure the water meter is completely drained. It is strongly recommended that a professional, licensed plumber be obtained to winterize your residence.

Note the owner of the property must be present during the water shut off or town staff will not proceed with the work.
Online resources to support you during the COVID-19 pandemic
Government of Ontario COVID-19 updates

Visit the main newsroom here
Eligible electricity customers may qualify for a one-time COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program (CEAP) credit for half of the electricity charges that are overdue on the date of their application for CEAP, up to a maximum of $115 ($230 for electrically heated homes). The funds are limited and will be allocated to customers on a first come first serve basis. Wasaga Distribution customers can visit the WDI website here to learn more and access the application form.
Wasaga Beach Council Highlights
Wasaga Beach Town Council met on Thursday, Oct. 29.

For an overview of what took place, see our highlights package: Here

Watch the meeting below:
Budget Update
On Thursday, Oct. 22, members of Wasaga Beach town council began work on the 2021 draft operating and capital budgets.

See Budget Update 2 here.

Watch the meeting below:
Find a meeting in our calendar
Looking for information on when town meetings take place?

Check out our website for dates and times. You can see the whole month at a glance.

Learn more here:

SIGN UP HERE: http://bit.ly/2ORXnzV
Town of Wasaga Beach Quick Fact

Our new website at www.wasagabeach.com has a page called Truth Corner.

This is where we deal head on with misinformation being intentionally spread in the community.

Visit Truth Corner here.
Waste collection information
The County of Simcoe is responsible for waste collection in the Town of Wasaga Beach.

You can learn more about waste services by visiting the county's website.

The site includes a variety of information, including waste collection schedules and landfill locations. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2m4oVad
Learn more about recreation programs here.
Check out Let's Talk Wasaga Beach here: Click
Pocket dialing can tie up resources
When inadvertently dialing 911 on your cell phone, please remember you are activating an emergency service.

In doing so, emergency personnel are committed to determining the origin and extent of the emergency that may be happening.

This means they have to locate the individual who inadvertently dialed 911.

This response can draw needed resources away from actual emergencies. To prevent this please, when not using your phone, lock it so that unintentional calls do not happen.

If you do dial 911 by mistake, please do not hang up on the operator. Explain the call is in fact not an emergency, tell the operator where you are and stay there. This is because an officer must attend your location to determine an emergency is not taking place.

By hanging up or leaving your current location, you create a situation where emergency services must try to locate you, and in the process tie up precious resources.

Only you can stop 911 misdials.
Medic Alert Connect
Are you familiar with MedicAlert Connect?

MedicAlert Connect provides Ontario Provincial Police with 24/7 direct access to a person's medical information including conditions, anxiety triggers, and de-escalation techniques, to assist with reuniting you and your loved ones.

To learn more about this program, see here:

Did you know the OPP has an online crime reporting site?

The site lets you report a crime without visiting an OPP detachment. Learn more here: http://bit.ly/2n3EoI8
The way we were...
AT THE ZOO Wasaga Beach was home to the Ontario Zoological Park/ Wasaga Beach Zoo. The zoo was located on River Road East, the entrance just past Zoo Park Road. The zoo drew tourists year-round and children will remember going to the zoo with their parents and on class trips. People were fascinated by the variety of animals that were housed at the Wasaga Beach Zoo. There were a number of big cats, tigers, lions, cheetahs and jaguars. Some will recall the sound of the noise in the monkey house or thinking they had never seen an animal as large as the elephants or a hippo. You could find a variety of birds, elk, wolves, and buffalo. One of the more unusual animals was the yak, it was big and slow moving with an incredible set of horns. Many visitors will remember thinking that the trails in the zoo were in such a natural setting that you could almost imagine the animals in their natural habitat. The zoo opened in the 1960s and closed its doors at the end of Labour Day weekend in 1981. #ThrowbackThursday
From the Historical Advisory Committee
There's always something to do through the Wasaga Beach Public Library

Learn more about library programs here

See the library main website here
Message from Mayor Nina Bifolchi
As you can see in our latest newsletter, we are working on the draft 2021 municipal budget for the town.

Establishing the town’s budget is one of the most important roles of council. This is when we allocate money to implement our goals and priorities for the year ahead, and improve our community. Creating the budget is always a challenging exercise, as we look to strike the right balance. We need to be responsible to you the taxpayer and this means many things. We need to be mindful of how much people can afford. But at the same time, we need to make sure we are investing in the right infrastructure projects to move Wasaga Beach forward. These are things our town needs in the short and long-term.

I encourage you to review the information in our newsletter so you have an accurate sense of where we are at with the budget. You can stay up-to-date on the budget by visiting our website at www.wasagabeach.com. Later this fall is an opportunity for public input and I encourage you to take part. You may hear or see information about the budget on social media or from other sources, but please be weary of what you come across. The town is your trustworthy source for information about municipal matters.

The town recently had to respond to inaccurate information in The Beach Booster publication. This is the tabloid-sized publication sent to homes through Canada Post. The Beach Booster has a history of publishing inaccurate material about the town and not correcting this content. You deserve to know the facts and that is why the town responded with accurate information on our website. I encourage you to read the response on our site. Please note we aren’t attacking the media in general. There are many local and regional media sources doing a professional job. Sadly, The Beach Booster falls short.

One of council’s major investments in the community is the construction of the new library and twin-pad arena. Recently, the treasurer presented a financial plan on the project that spells out how we will make this project happen along with continuing to invest in other needed infrastructure in the community. Please review the plan on our website for full details. The total project cost is $59-million, of which the land portion is paid. The balance of the project cost is approximately $51-million, of which $31-million would be financed through long-term debt when the project is complete in 2023, and the remainder from various reserve funds.

We are also reviewing the projected operating costs of the facility. Council commissioned a study using provincial funds and staff are currently evaluating the study’s recommendations. The treasurer has done financial projections on overall financial expenses for the next few years and the town can accommodate the increased costs with reasonable tax increases. As the 2021 budget is being prepared, further work is being done on the projections that will be shared with council and the community.

Some in the community suggest we should pause this project. Council is not prepared to do so and put user groups at risk of not having an arena or adequate library. Our existing arena is near the end of its lifespan and our library is too small to meet expected needs.

Wasaga Beach is a growing community and council recognizes the need to invest in amenities, such as a twin-pad arena and modern library. These new facilities are positioning our town to be ready for the future. The pandemic will not last forever. Council wants to ensure the town has the facilities that help make Wasaga Beach a complete community

The treasurer and town auditor have confirmed the town is in great financial shape and is able to take on a project of this magnitude. Successive councils have been setting aside funds for these types of amenities for years. Joint facilities, such as the town is planning, are increasingly common. They are more efficient to operate and manage, and they allow greater flexibility in terms of how the space is used.

I encourage you to visit our website to learn about all of our programs and services. A new mobile-friendly and fully accessible site launched in late October. Effective communication is one of council’s key priorities this term and our new site is among the many tools we use to keep residents informed.

Briefly, I’ll mention we soon plan to issue Requests for Proposals to the developers we have shortlisted to develop town-owned land at the beachfront. We look forward to seeing what plans developers have for this important part of our community. Watch our website for further details.

COVID-19 cases are on the rise in our region so remember to follow all of the health protocols to stay safe.

I look forward to sharing more with you soon.

Nina Bifolchi,
Wasaga Beach Town Council
Mayor Nina Bifolchi
705-429-3844, ext. 2225
Deputy Mayor Sylvia Bray
Councillor Joe Belanger
Councillor David Foster
Councillor Mark Kinney
Councillor George Watson
Councillor Stan Well
Your town council...
Members of Wasaga Beach town council are elected to represent the people of Wasaga Beach.

You can discuss town matters with a member of council by calling or e-mailing them.

If you would like a member of council to attend a special event please contact Pam Kenwell at 705-429-3844, ext. 2246 or e-mail [email protected]
Chief Administrative Officer
705-429-3844, ext. 2222
Town of Wasaga Beach | www.wasagabeach.com