Tay Township has extended a number of licences and permits while waiving interests and penalties for water and wastewater accounts.
The actions are being taken to ensure residents do not have to visit the municipal building with provincial emergency and stay-at-home orders are still in place.
For instance, the early payment discount date for dog tags will be extended beyond the current deadline of Feb. 28. Further, building permit and inspection deposits taken out in 2018, 2019, and 2020, will be refundable for an additional 12 months. Fire permits issued in 2020 will be valid until month's end.
In addition, fees and interest charges will be waived during the provincial state of emergency, including a period of 60 days after the order has been lifted and the municipal offices prepare to reopen to the public.
Council also finalized the details around the new outdoor burning permit.
According to the new rules, burning permissions in rural areas remain unchanged. Also remaining the same will be pit sizes.
Open-air burning times will also remain the same, with burning prohibited between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. throughout the township. There will be a restriction from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on daytime burning from May 1 to Oct. 30.
The main change in the bylaw lies in the enforcement of it.
"I agree with the deputy fire chief," said Coun. Paul Raymond. "I think three strikes and you’re out is a good way to go."
Fines will be issued for repeated infractions.
The first offence will receive a warning with education, the second a fine in the amount that the township currently applies for offences other than the above mentioned, and on the third offence the person will receive a fine plus the cancellation of the permit for the rest of the year. The term may be revaluated or extended at the discretion of the fire chief.
As for posting permits in a conspicuous spot, Raymond said he didn't approve of the archaic method.
"I’m trying to yank Tay Township out of the dinosaur age," he said. "These permits should be online somewhere and be easy enough to be pulled using an address."
Deputy Fire Chief Shawn Aymer concurred.
"A lot of people don’t have printers at home," he said. "And with posting, your idea of conspicuous is different than mine. If a neighbour calls saying it wasn’t posted because they can’t see it, that’s a problem."
As approved by council, permit holders will not be required to post the permits on their property.
Mehreen Shahid, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, OrilliaMatters.com