Pelham Town Council meets virtually on March 21 2022. YOU TUBE

A high-speed, 30-minute Pelham Town Council meeting was highlighted March 21 by the Town modifying its two-year-long masking mandate to conform with new Ontario regulations.

With the province dropping Covid-19 mask mandates with the exception of hospitals, care facilities, and public transit the same day, council unanimously approved a staff report that essentially replaced the verbiage of the municipal regulation from “requirement” of masking to “strongly encouraged.”

Pelham will continue to provide staff members with masks if they are needed.

“We have plenty of PPE,” Fire Chief and Chief Bylaw Enforcement Officer Bob Lymburner said.

“If you feel more comfortable wearing a mask by all means, that’s your right to do it,” Mayor Marvin Junkin said. “And if you choose not to wear a mask in most cases, that’s your right.”

Pelham had 158 active cases of Covid-19 as of March 21, with 1,151 active cases in Niagara as of the same day. For several weeks, health experts have cautioned that the true number of infections in Ontario is likely significantly higher than the official number due to limited testing.

Town wins finance reporting award again

For the second year in a row, the Town of Pelham has captured the Canadian Award for Financial Reporting, given out to municipalities by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA). This award is for 2020 finances submitted in 2021.

“We’re very pleased to have that recognition,” Treasurer Teresa Quinlin-Murphy said.

Odds and ends

With March— Fraud Prevention Month — wrapping up, Ward 1 Councillor Marianne Stewart said that the Pelham Seniors Advisory Committee will host a fraud prevention seminar on May 11 at the MCC. It is expected that demand for the event may allow it to become a hybrid seminar where interested participants can also log-in from home.

The Town passed a bylaw to rename the newly merged Pelham-Lincoln Library Board the “Lincoln Pelham Union Public Library Board.”

Neither CAO David Cribbs nor Ward 3 Councillor Lisa Haun were in attendance for the virtual meeting.