King Street will open to the public by month's end

·3 min read

Midland residents will be able to take a stroll down the new King Street this winter.

Staff confirmed at Wednesday's council meeting that the construction crews will be done with their work for this year by the end of November, allowing for the street to open up to foot traffic.

The confirmation came as part of a question-and-answer session following a verbal update from CAO David Denault.

"Are we going to open things up in stages or is there going to be a big bang and when is the party?” Coun. Bill Gordon asked.

But Andy Campbell, executive director of environment & infrastructure​, said there are no big grand opening plans.

“We're done the underground work,” he added. “The asphalt will be done by Friday with this warm weather we're having. For this winter, the street will be open. Over the next couple of weeks, they want to try and get the rest of the paving stone done. We thought we'd have some snow by now, but we're lucking out and it looks like we will have another two weeks of nice weather.”

If the snow does fly, construction crews will have temporary sidewalks put in place, said Campbell.

Gordon asked Denault when the town’s rec centre would reopen so seniors can walk around on the un-iced icepad or in the hallways, “just to get them out of Walmart.”

Denault said he was awaiting an update from Askennonia, but did provide some information regarding the local YMCA.

“We sat down with the YMCA to see what their needs are and we bounced off some ideas,” he added. “And they will come back next week to announce something to the community. I'm hoping to come back to council with a report for any support that we can offer them.”

Coun. Jon Main brought up a couple questions around a second COVID-19 lockdown.

“There's a lot of hesitation going into a second lockdown,” said Main, adding that the new lockdown framework the province announced Tuesday could allow for more targeted control.

“How is that going to affect all of Simcoe County if there are pockets where clearly there is an outbreak, which is uncontrollable community transmission?” he asked.

Denault said area CAOs posed the same question to the medical health officer during a routine call.

“Simcoe is a very large county with the southern tier very populous where we're seeing some tremendous transmission rates,” he said. “Our question was would there be the potential to treat different parts of Simcoe differently if there were restrictions in place. His answer was, ‘We'll see.’”

The government, added Denault, is trying to strike a balance between supporting businesses and individuals, while keeping people safe.

“Ultimately, it will be the decision of the chief medical officer and then the province finally decides,” he added.

Denault also noted that the status of the flu vaccine had also come up in conversation with the medical health officer.

“We've been assured the vaccines are available so please be patient with the process,” he said. “Allow the vaccines to come in, they will be there, just keep trying. it's a good sign that so many people are trying to get it.”

Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com