Museum to reopen in modified fashion

The following are brief reports of items discussed during a June 23 meeting of Dysart et al council.
By Chad Ingram

Published June 30 2020

Beginning this week the Haliburton Highlands Museum will be open by appointment.
“Under the Stage 2 guidelines for reopening the province museums are permitted to start to look at reopening” museum director Kate Butler told councillors.
Families and groups within their social bubbles are asked to call the museum to book a time to visit and physical distancing and other COVID-19-related safety protocols will be in place.
“So we’re taking it slowly and all the precautions will be in place but it is a step towards getting back to everything being fully up and operational” Butler said.
The museum has been closed to the public for more than three months amid the COVID-19 pandemic but has been keeping residents engaged with local history via social media.

An initiative from Dysart et al’s COVID-19 recovery committee will see councillors promoting their wards in weeklong campaigns as part of trying to get the municipality’s economy back up and running.
The recovery committee has met a few times dealing with issues such as the opening of temporary expanded patios for local restaurants as permitted under provincial guidelines.
“We’re also looking at a new summer promotion that I’m going to spring on councillors here this morning” said Deputy Mayor Pat Kennedy who sits on the committee. “It’s called Welcome to My Ward and we believe it’s an important tool that we can use this summer to highlight the five wards within the Municipality of Dysart and our councillors will act as ambassadors for that week . . . a weeklong celebration highlighting businesses in each of the wards points of interest boat launches parks that type of thing.”
Ward 5 will be highlighted first by Councillor Walt McKechnie.
“We’re hoping that will run the five weeks and if it’s successful we’ll do it twice this summer” Kennedy said.

Councillors passed an updated canine bylaw for the municipality. Two major changes are the removal of the requirement for residents to purchase dog tags and register with the municipality and the addition of a provision that allows the municipality to issue muzzle orders for dogs that are deemed dangerous.

Dysart et al staff are preparing a review that will include a six-month projection of how COVID-19 has impacted the municipality’s finances. Based on those projections council will make decisions about possible project delays etc. “We may have to wait and see how big the hit is to our revenue side and make that decision” Mayor Andrea Roberts said. “And that’s why all department heads are being asked to look at how COVID-19 has affected their [departmental budgets].”