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Kawartha Lakes reopens some municipal services

DAN CEARNS, Journalism Initiative Reporter,  for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes has started to open some city services that had been closed due to COVID-19. As of Monday May 11th, the Lindsay landfill has been opened for the public to access. This landfill will operate its regular hours, but will not be accepting cash and the number of vehicles at the site will be limited. Next week, on Monday, May 18th the Fenelon and Eldon landfills will reopen to the public with the same restrictions as the Lindsay site. On Tuesday, May 12th, the City opened the Victoria Rail Trail to motorized vehicles. The Municipality’s public boat launches will open on Thursday, May 14th. Kawartha Lakes also has a plan for the safe reopening of Farmers’ Markets. “Markets will be allowed to open, and the municipality is working with local organizers to ensure the appropriate protocols and safety measures are in place, with a safety plan approved by the local health unit,” read a Kawartha Lakes press release. However, Mayor Andy Letham cautioned residents who use these services to follow the health and safety rules. “If this gets abused, if people don’t take it seriously, the physical distancing or the gatherings [of five people or less], and that starts to become an issue from a health perspective, we as a municipality won’t hesitate to close these services down again,” the Mayor said, during a telephone press conference on Wednesday, May 6th. However, Mayor Letham remains confident people will follow these rules. “I have a lot of faith in our residents. Most are [distancing] now, and that’s the reason we’re able to do this,” he said. The Mayor also explained what information led the city to feel confident to reopen these services. “I think it was based on a lot of things. I think obviously the pressure from the public is one thing. People are getting antsy and want to do a few things. I think the direction the province is going by slowly lifting a few restrictions, the timing is right for us to [follow that direction]. Looking at the trend over the last couple of weeks from our emergency operations centre and our partners in the community, and just looking at the very consistent trends, I think [the cases are] fairly consistent, fairly isolated for now, and if we can stay on that path then I think we all have a certain comfort level in saying let’s start easing back [restrictions on] a few things that we can allow people to do.”

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