County looks at options for stranded drivers

·1 min read

Drivers that find themselves stranded in Shelburne should not be expecting to see traditional warming centres available this winter, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past the Town has used facilities like the Centre Dufferin Recreation Complex (CDRC) or the Grace Tippling Hall to provide shelter for stranded drivers, but during Town Council’s meeting on Monday (Dec. 14), Mayor Wade Mills said that won’t be happening due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead the County of Dufferin is looking on implementing the use of buses to temporarily house the drivers that find themselves stranded.

“Depending on how many motorist we are dealing with, I think each bus could accommodate three to possibly four families, depending on the size of each family, and that would give enough physical distancing within the bus,” said Mills.

He also said during a local Emergency Control Group meeting, that they discussed possible locations for the buses.

“Motorist should not be counting on the traditional warm, comfy accommodations that we have been able to provide in the past,” said Mills.

Deputy Mayor Steven Anderson questioned if the County, taking the lead, would be fronting the cost for the buses, while also questioning the number of buses, and liability protection the Town would need.

Mills said that emergency situations are coordinated through the County adding that in severe situations the Red Cross is deployed to provide support. The change in procedure he said was to address concern of COVID-19.

According to Shelburne Clerk Jennifer Willoughby, the costs would be covered by Dufferin County.

Paula Brown, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shelburne Free Press