The City of Port Colborne continues to place the health and safety of the community and staff as a top priority. The emergency operations control group meets daily to assess new information and respond accordingly to keep the community healthy.
City facilities remain closed:
The Government of Ontario announced a two-week extension of the provincial emergency order until April 14, 2020, with the potential to extend in two-week allotments. Therefore, City of Port Colborne facilities will remain closed until further notice.
The following facilities are closed:
· City Hall
· Vale Health & Wellness Centre, including Port Colborne YMCA
· Engineering & Operations Centre
· Fire Hall (for non-emergency use)
· Port Colborne Public Library
· Port Colborne Historical & Marine Museum, including L.R. Wilson Heritage Research Archives
· The Roselawn Centre
· The Visitor’s Centre
· Port Colborne Farmer’s Market
· Bethel Community Centre
· Sherkston Community Centre
· Sugarloaf Marina, including public boat launch ramp
· City playground equipment & park amenities (including playgrounds, Alogport Bike & BMX Park, outdoor fitness equipment, sports fields, tennis courts, basketball courts, pavilions, and park benches)
· City beaches, including Nickel Beach and Cedar Bay/Centennial Beach
As of March 31, 2020, the Ontario Government has ordered all outdoor recreation amenities across the province closed.
"The health and well-being of citizens of Port Colborne is a top priority of our government as we navigate through the COVID-19 health crisis. Our municipal parks crew are already taking action locally to protect residents," said Nicole Halasz, Parks and Recreation Manager for the City of Port Colborne. "This order makes the rules around closing shared outdoor recreational amenities consistent across the province."
This new order closes the following, whether city owned or not: playgrounds, sports fields, basketball and tennis courts, off-leash dog parks, beaches, skateboard and BMX parks, picnic areas, outdoor community gardens, park shelters, outdoor exercise equipment, and condominium parks and gardens.
Green spaces in parks, trails, ravines and conservation areas that are not otherwise closed remain open for walk-through access, but residents must maintain the safe physical distance of at least two metres, six feet apart. Provincial parks and conservation reserves remain closed.
Residents are to remember that under the current provincial emergency order residents are not to gather in groups of more than five people. The order does not apply to private households of five people or more, workers in essential workplaces, operating childcare centres supporting frontline healthcare workers and first responders.
The City is encouraging residents to be good citizens and abide by these rules to help stop the spread of COVID-19. If residents have concerns about any of the following, the first point of contact in Port Colborne are By-law Officers:
· Gatherings of five or more people
· Use of closed facilities
· Operation of non-essential businesses
Our By-law Officers are available to respond to concerns by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., call 905-835-2900 ext. 207.
Continuing to serve residents:
The City remains available to serve residents by phone at 905-835-2900 or online. For a complete list of City staff and how to contact, visit http://portcolborne.ca/page/City_Contacts.
Council has approved an exemption until June 30, 2020 to penalty and interest charges for tax, water and wastewater payments due to residents’ limitations accessing City Hall during the COVID-19 related closure. This decision was also made to help alleviate the financial burden that may be prevalent for the Port Colborne community because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Do your part:
The City encourages residents to seek information from credible sources such as Niagara Region Public Health, and take the necessary steps to stay healthy:
· Stay home if you’re sick
· If you’ve returned to Canada, you must self-isolate for 14 days
· No gatherings
· Wash your hands regularly
· Cover your cough or sneeze
· Keep six feet (2 metres) away from each other
· Clean and disinfect high touch surfaces
Source of local information:
As the situation continues to evolve, the City is encouraging residents to follow the City’s social media accounts and website, www.portcolborne.ca/page/COVID-19, for the most up-to-date information, including changes to service delivery.