CONSEQUENCES FROM COVID-19
With the onset of the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic, the municipality had to adjust and recast its 2020-21 HRM Capital & Operational Budgets. Leading up to press time for this newsletter, HRM was ordered to restrict access and uses of various municipal facilities, services, and programs. Slowly but cautiously, under the direction of Public Health orders, HRM has been able to restart some of its offerings but with significant changes to service levels. For example, the summertime weekly organic green cart collection has been canceled for this year. Also, the old Refrigerator Free-Freon/ CFC removal program and the Mobile HSW Household Hazardous Special Waste depots and drop-off service have been suspended until further notice. Various Spring & Summer Recreational programs are under review or canceled outright. HRM is in the process of reopening its parks, trails, green spaces, beaches, community gardens, and cemeteries. With over 900 parks and 425 km of trails in the municipality, this process will take time. Staff is working quickly to remove all barricades, locks, and gates from parks to adjust to these changes. As well as try to keep these greenspaces groomed and maintained during this transition. We ask residents for their patience during the reopening period. However, until further notice, our playgrounds and some sports courts and playfields will remain closed to eliminate the potential risk of contamination and contact with the virus. For more information on municipal services during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit: www. halifax.ca/fire-police/fire/emergency-management/corona-virus-disease-covid-19
HRM TAX BILL EXTENDED – JUNE 1ST
The HRM Interim tax-bill due date has been extended to Monday, June 1st. The final bill will still be due on October 31st. Instead of having two large semi-annual payments, you can arrange a Pre-Authorized Payment (PAP) plan to pay in smaller bi-weekly or monthly amounts or apply for a deferral if necessary. If you have any enquiries about a PAP or deferring your tax bill, please call the Halifax Contact Centre at 311 or go on-line to: www.halifax.ca/home-property/property-taxes/taxes-halifax
EASTERN SHORE COMMUNITY FUND
The Community Foundation of Nova Scotia (CFNS) is an action centre for philanthropy. They provide knowledge and support for communities, charities and citizens to realize their individual potential and collective possibilities. If you are interested in working with CFNS to grow your charity, honour a loved one or simply give back to your community, call them at 902-490-9916, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit their website www.cfns-fcne.ca to learn more about the opportunities they provide. You can also support local work directly through a donation to the Eastern Shore Community Fund: https://cfns-fcne.ca/en/easternshorecommunityfund Your contribution will help to build stronger and more vibrant Eastern Shore communities by enabling and inspiring effective philanthropy to support local initiatives and investment.
2020 THEME: TIME FOR NATURE
During Canadian Environment Week (CEW) there are many special dedicated days to heighten the awareness of various environmental causes: World Environment Day (June 5th), Canada Clean Air Day (June 3rd) and World Oceans Day (June 8th). For more information about CEW, go to: www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/canadian-environment-week.html During CEW and throughout the year, we are urged to reflect on the many ways we can take action to protect and preserve our natural surroundings. Together we can act #ForNature. This year’s theme for #WorldEnvironmentDay 2020 is “Time for Nature” So go out and enjoy it but please respect the Public Health Order and directives about Social Distancing while outside.
PICK-ME-UP LITTER CAMPAIGNS
The 2020 Great Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up campaign by NS Adopt A Highway (AAH) was delayed due to COVID-19 but registration for the province’s largest litter reduction initiative will re-open on June 1st at www.nspickmeup.ca or by calling 1-902-843-3553 or on-line via e-mail to email@example.com . AAH will provide groups with everything needed to run a successful litter clean-up event including supplies, information on how to coordinate your event and a data card to track results and be sure to post ‘before & after’ photos of your pick-me-up locations and post to social media using the hashtag #GladToCleanUp. One good thing from people social distancing and out walking in their own neighbourhoods and seeing too much litter strewn about was the spawn of the “One Garbage Bag Challenge“ Join in at www.facebook.com/groups/693866384753094/ Or see more NS community stories at: http://www.cjls.com/2020/05/01/the-one-bag-challenge-nova-scotia-help-clean-up-your-neighbourhood/ So do your part in your part of Nova Scotia. Let’s make it pristine again!
FIRE BAN EXTENDED BUT CAMPFIRES
The Province decided to extend its ban on all open-air fires in or with 1,000 feet of any wooden area until June 1st. However, small backyard camp fires in fire-pits, fire-bowls, BBQ Fireplaces, and chimineas will be allowed temporarily. The NS Department of Lands & Forestry will be reassessing this ban again to determine if it should lifted or extended. For up-to-date details, go to: https://novascotia.ca/BurnSafe/
BEAR RESISTANT GREEN BIN TRIAL
This Spring, HRM and the NS Dept of Lands & Forestry (NSDLF) have been testing new bear-resistant green bin locks in the Lake Echo Mountainview Estates Mobile Home-park area. There has been numerous human/ bear conflicts in this area for some time now. The aroma from organic green carts as well as bird-feeders and other garbage have been attractants for the bears and other wildlife. The Mountainview Estates residents have been invited to participate in a new locking system on their green bins. During this trial, retrofitted carts will be distributed and participants will be asked to complete a short survey each morning to track wildlife interaction with the green bins. This survey data will help HRM & NSDLF to determine how successful the locking bins will be to deter nuisance bears. More information on wildlife interactions can be found at: www.novascotia.ca/natr/wildlife/living-with-wildlife/bear/
PUPPY REGISTRATION AMENDMENT
There was a gap in the HRM pet registration licensing program for puppy dogs under the age of six months. Based on the current by-law, owners had to license dogs within 20 days of becoming an owner regardless of the age of the dog. The majority of veterinarians do not recommend puppy dogs to be spayed or neutered before the age of six months. If one becomes an owner of a puppy under the age of six months, the only options were registration rates of $200.00 for a lifetime license or the annual fee of $50.00 for unaltered dogs. Now a person getting a puppy under six months of age is not required to license a dog until it matures in age beyond six months.
I want to congratulate the Class of 2020, all Graduates in high school, community college, and University. Even though this COVID 19 Pandemic cut short your school year and forced social distancing from your classmates, there will be time in the future to celebrate in person. But in the meantime, cherish your accomplishments virtually. May each of you find your own path in life that leads to many successes and the best of luck with your future endeavours.
ENROLLMENT FOR SEPTEMBER
The Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) is now planning for the 2020-21 school year. This year, they are faced with the challenge of COVID-19 – and the number of students they currently have registered does not match their projected enrolment for the Fall. It is absolutely vital that HRCE has the most up-to-date enrolment numbers NOW to ensure that schools are staffed with the right number of teachers and other resources to best support students in the Fall. It’s also critical for their Pupil Transportation Team to have this information to route eligible students for busing. Please contact them via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 902-464-2000. More details can be found at: www.hrce.ca/registration.