Happy Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. We are blessed and lucky to live in such a great community and I thank you for making Richmond Hill a better place to live.

1/ Richmond Hill Takes Action to Ease Budget Impact of COVID-19

Richmond Hill Council is committed to achieving the lowest property tax increase residents have seen in more than 15 years despite the financial challenges posed by COVID-19. Council has set a maximum 0.5% municipal property tax increase for 2021. It will be the second year in a row Richmond Hill has maintained an increase below 1%.
However, provincially mandated closures of facilities and programs to protect the health and safety of residents led to a projected $15.9 million revenue shortfall in 2020. This is offset by $9.5 million in reduced expenses during the pandemic. Council and the City have taken action so residents won’t bear the more than $6 million cost remaining, including:

· Placing non-critical staffing recruitments on hold resulting in a savings of approximately $2.5 million
· Reducing training and conferences for staff for a savings of almost $500,000
· Deferring internal corporate programs such as City-run conferences for a savings of close to $400,000
· Re-evaluating internal staff programs such as flu shots and service awards – many of which are ill advised due to COVID-19 for a savings of $46,000.

As a result, current projections show the City has reduced its year-end deficit to only $1.38 million in 2020, which will be covered using the phase 1 emergency funding from the Province. These decisions ensure the City remains on target for the 2020 budget and combined with the remaining emergency funding, will position Richmond Hill well for achieving Council’s target of a maximum 0.5% tax increase in 2021.

Richmond Hill is one of only 15 municipalities in Canada to be part of pilot project
The City of Richmond Hill has earned the highest level of ISO 37120 certification from the World Council on City Data (WCCD) as part of the “Data for Canadian Cities Pilot Project”. Through the ISO 37120 certification, Richmond Hill joins a global network of 100 cities across more than 30 countries – including a network of 30 Canadian cities of all sizes.

2/ Message from York Regional Police

York Regional Police is reminding citizens to Lock It or Lose It as thefts from vehicles are on the rise throughout York Region.
Thefts typically occur when vehicles are left unattended and unlocked for long periods of time, such as in residential driveways, commuter lots and parking lots of businesses. Make no mistake, it can happen in just seconds. These types of incidents are known to increase during the fall months.
Investigators have released a video that shows just how fast a theft from an unlocked vehicle can happen. Watch as the thief enters the victim’s car, helps themselves to a drink and makes off with the victim’s belongings in under 30 seconds. The video is available for viewing at the following link: https://youtu.be/YMuaX0OMZzg
York Regional Police reminds citizens not to make it any easier for thieves. Protect your vehicle from theft with a few simple precautions:
· Always roll up your vehicle’s windows, lock the doors and take the key
· Never leave your vehicle unattended while it is running
· If you have a garage, use it, and lock the door as well as your vehicle
· Never leave your car keys in plain view or in an easily accessible area
· Keep your vehicle registration certificate and proof of insurance on you at all times. Don’t leave
· these documents in your glove compartment
· Always park your vehicle in a well-lit area
· Never leave valuable objects or packages in full view. Put them in the trunk
· Give only your ignition key to a parking lot attendant. Keep all other keys with you

3/ Important message about masks, gloves, wipes and tissue in garbage

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic waste collection staff has been finding used masks, gloves, wipes and tissues improperly disposed of in residents’ blue boxes. These items are not recyclable and belong in the garbage. When they are placed in the blue box they create a health and safety risk for the collection and sorting staff that have to remove them by hand, placing them at a greater risk of contracting or spreading COVID-19.
To address this issue, on Monday, October 5, Richmond Hill in partnership with Vaughan, Markham and York Region, will be starting a curb side program where waste collection crews will leave behind any blue boxes that contain masks, gloves, wipes or tissues. To inform residents as to why their blue box was not collected, crews will be placing a specially designed ‘Oops’ sticker on their blue boxes. If a blue box is left behind residents are asked to remove any masks, gloves, wipes and tissues and put these in the garbage. Once the PPE has been removed, the blue box can be put back out the following week for collection.

4/ Construction Notice – Lighting Installations (Ward 3)

The scope of work includes new street lighting and walkway lighting installations at various locations. Construction is scheduled to begin in early October and be completed by end of 2020, weather permitting.
• Walkway between Gemini Crescent and Leslie Street (Walkway Engineering Plan 5)
• To address the traffic and speeding concerns of the residents, a traffic light will be installed at Leslie and Toporowski Ave.
• Construction is underway on Leslie Street at the Headford Avenue, Greenhill Avenue, Princeton Avenue and Elgin Mills Road intersections. The work includes upgrading traffic signals and crosswalks to meet new Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities guidelines and to accommodate the new Lake to Lake Cycling Route and Walking Trail multi-use pathway. Work started in May and is anticipated to be complete in November 2020. The intersections will remain open to traffic and access will be maintained, however, temporary lane closure will be required to allow construction to be undertaken in a safe and efficient manner. As a measure of safety, the sidewalk and multiuse path will be temporarily closed at the intersections during construction.

5/ 6 Instagram-worthy places to see Fall Colours in Richmond Hill

It won’t be long until the fall colours are at their peak and Richmond Hill is ablaze with incredible orange, red and yellow autumn hues. got an incredible parks and trails system full of hidden gems perfect for taking in the fall foliage.
• Phyllis Rawlinson Park (11715 Leslie Street)
• East Humber Trail (north of King Road between Parker Avenue and Verdi Road)
• Elgin Mills Greenway (Bathurst Street and Shaftsbury Avenue behind Elgin West Community Centre)
• Newberry Park (227 Bernard Avenue)
• Russell Farm Park (290 Bantry Avenue)
• South Richvale Greenway (Weldrick Road east of Bathurst Street to south of Carville Road)
Link: https://www.richmondhill.ca/Modules/News/index.aspx?feedId=5988c08a-c0f5-4d51-91e0-9691f68738f4&newsId=5f4b6fe2-00f2-45c8-82b2-d4be5080a9bf

6/ You can help grow our urban tree canopy!

Trees provide many benefits to our community: improved air quality, shade and wildlife habitat, and higher property values. Despite challenges, Richmond Hill succeeded in increasing its tree canopy cover (the percentage of land covered by trees and shrubs) from under 25% in 2010 to almost 30% in 2016.
You can help our canopy cover continue to grow by taking advantage of the Backyard Tree Planting Program! A partnership between Richmond Hill, York Region and LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests), this program provides local expertise to help you select and plant the right trees and shrubs for your yard.

LEAF offers Full Service Backyard Tree Planting, Do-it-Yourself Tree Planting, Native Garden Kits, and shrubs at subsidized rates. Staff have adjusted work procedures to ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
To find more information and to place an order, visit www.yourleaf.org or call 1-888-453-6504.

7/ Moving or upgrading items in your home?

Plan ahead to avoid leaving unacceptable items at the curb, uncollected waste left at the curb will be subject to fines.
• Furniture or large item – each piece of counts as 1 item for collection on garbage day.
• Extra items over the 3-item limit must have a garbage tag to be collected. You can also take bulky items to a York Region waste depot.
• Do not put garbage in cardboard boxes.
• Cardboard – flatten for recycling.
• Wood and/or carpet– remove nails; tie in bundles no longer than 1.2 m and no heavier than 18 kg. Each bundle counts as one item.
• Appliances and large metal items– collected for free by appointment only. To book an appointment, call 905-771-8800 or book online at RichmondHill.ca/Appliance.
• Fridges and freezers – remove doors.

8/ New six week swimming and skating sessions!

Swimming Lessons
Swimming lessons starts on Saturday, October 24! Join us for a six week, multi-level, return to swimming program that will focus on stroke development and fitness. Prepare for Friday’s registration date and browse our offerings to create your wish list today.

Skating Lessons and Public Skate
View our six week learn to skate program divided into beginner and intermediate levels starting Saturday, October 24. Registration starts Friday!
Join us for public skating, all ages welcome! Online reservation is required for all public skates. Reservations open Monday, October 19.

In-Person Programs and Workshops
Continue to stay active this fall with our new session of in person general programs and workshops! Ranging from outdoor education, , arts, dance, language, leadership, and speaker series, there is something for everyone. View our list and register today!

Virtual Programs
There is still time to register for our wide variety of virtual programs that start on October 13. Keep active with fitness and dance programs, learn a new instrument or language, take a babysitter course, or develop your theatrical skills with the Richmond Hill Centre for Performing Arts – all from the comfort of your own home. Register today

9/ York Region Mask Distribution Program

York Region is collaborating with local community support agencies and service providers, such as food banks, shelters and affordable housing facilities to distribute a limited quantity of reusable masks to vulnerable residents, including low-income individuals and families, seniors and those who are experiencing or are at-risk of homelessness.
This initiative supports those who may not have access to, or the ability to purchase masks for themselves or their family members. Contact Access York at 1-877-464-9675 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday to request masks. A maximum of two masks will be mailed to each person, while quantities last.