A message from Mayor Struthers:

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It is painfully evident how deeply people’s lives around the globe have been impacted in all aspects by COVID-19, including our residents and businesses. The dedication demonstrated by our community to abide by Emergency Orders and Public Health Officials’ advice has been outstanding. Thank you.

However, our fight against this deadly virus is not over and it’s important to continue obeying the advice of the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit at healthunit.org/ coronavirus. Please: Stay home whenever possible and practice mandatory self-isolation for 14 days when required under the Federal Quarantine Act.

Do not gather in groups of more than 5 people and practice physical distancing by staying at least 2m (6ft) away from others in public areas.

Wash your hands often, avoid touching your face, and cough or sneeze into your arm, not your hands.

On March 23, 2020, Council passed By-law 26-2020 to allow Council meetings to take place electronically during the Provincial Emergency, ensuring continuity of municipal governance. Audio recordings of the meetings are now available on our website with Council agendas and minutes.

On April 9, Council passed By-laws 30-2020 and 31-2020, providing financial relief to ratepayers by reducing the previ- ously approved 2020 Budget increase of 3.13% to just 0.44%.

Information on the pandemic is constantly changing so stay tuned to reliable media outlets and keep checking information on the Province’s website at www.ontario.ca/page/government-ontario.

The Village’s Municipal Emergency Control Group (MECG) continues to monitor the situation and implement preventative measures for your safety. For more information, visit our website at www.merrickville-wolford.ca, or contact Village Staff who remain ready to serve you.

Regarding the economic impact, on April 3 our CAO and I discussed the statistical modelling revealed by Premier Ford and, based on that discussion, by April 9, Council had approved financial relief to all ratepayers, reducing the previous tax increase to just 0.44%. Council has also waived all late fees for utility bill payments until the end of April. We will continue to review additional relief options as Provincial and Federal announcements are made and as the situation evolves. Stay safe!

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