MEDIA RELEASE: Council Meeting - July 7 2020

print-logo July 10, 2020

For Immediate Release

Friday, July 10, 2020 - Port Hope, ON

Below is a summary of key items discussed at the Municipality of Port Hope regular Council Meeting held on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. The full agenda and staff reports are available on the Council Portal. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this meeting was held electronically via video conference.

Assistance for local bars and restaurants
Council directed staff to explore opportunities to assist local bars and restaurants recover from the economic impacts related to COVID-19. These opportunities include facilitating additional serving areas to be available for take-out dining opportunities, including the installation of picnic tables and other serving areas.

Additionally, Council directed staff to explore opportunities to ease restrictions associated with liquor licensing, including working with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, to identify opportunities for expanded serving areas.

Staff will report back to a future Committee of the Whole meeting regarding these opportunities and present options for consideration that incorporate public safety and stakeholder input.

Support for local businesses
Council authorized an amendment to By-law 54/2017, being a By-law to regulate, protect and govern the use of parks, recreation areas and park facilities to support the local business community by allowing businesses to rent park space for business use.

The Parks, Recreation, and Culture Department has received requests from local businesses seeking permission to rent parks to host business activities; however, By-law 54/2017 limited the operation of business in parks or recreation areas. The amendment to the By-law will help staff to establish a park booking program and allows for expansion of local businesses into parks and other outdoor venues, for local establishments to conduct their business in a safe manner.

Pay parking reinstated
Council reinstated the pay parking requirements in pay parking zones and removed the exemption to suspend the Parking Meter Fees located in Schedule D of the Prescribed Fees for Services Bylaw 81/2019. Payment for parking at all pay parking zones will be required beginning on July 8, 2020. *note that Municipal Law Enforcement will apply a grace period for issuing parking tickets until Monday, July 13, 2020.

Parking fees were suspended on in the spring when businesses were forced to close due to the global pandemic. As the provincial government’s staged re-opening plan is now in effect, many businesses and services have re-opened, which has increased the demand in pay parking zones.

Support for Northumberland Labour Council motion
Council supported a motion made by the Northumberland Labour Council, which calls for the provincial and federal governments to provide emergency operating funds to protect vital local services, including public transportation and emergency services.

Support for VIA Rail Canada service
Aligning with many other municipalities across Ontario, Council supported a resolution which recommends that the Government of Canada adequately fund and fully support VIA Rail Canada in increasing the frequency, reliability, ticket cost and speed of VIA rail service in 2020 and successive years.

Council Summer Schedule
The Council Summer Schedule is in effect. During the summer months, Council meets on the first Tuesday of July and the first Tuesday of August. Should an urgent matter arise, a Special Council Meeting may be called at the direction of the Mayor or the Clerk.

Minutes from this meeting will be available pending approval at the next Council meeting on Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at which point they will become the official record of the meeting.

Recordings of the July 7, 2020 Regular Council meeting and Committee of the Whole meeting are available at porthope.ca/council-communications.

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For more information, please contact:
Kate Ingram, Communications / Community Engagement Coordinator
905-375-8321
kingram@porthope.ca