After more than four weeks in Covd-19 lockdown, we're pretty excited to be heading into Alert Level 3. While this doesn't mean we'll all go back to normality, some businesses will now be able to get going again, and some people will be able to go back to work. Those who want to will be able to go fishing, hunting and swimming (within the government guidelines) but we still need to restrict contact with others as much as possible.
Mayor Toby Adams says Alert Level 3 is about easing back into things, not rushing off downtown to hang out with mates,
"It's not going to be that different to Alert Level 4. What we've done so far is working. We've got this and we're nearly out the other side, we just need to keep on keeping on."
Golden rules for Alert Level 3
Keep up with the golden rules for Alert Level 3 at home or in business
Alert Level 3 means we can start doing more to support business to get back to business and help our communities get back on their feet
A snapshot of updates to our services during Level 3
Council meetings will be held remotely by Zoom and streamed live to our Facebook page.
Our offices will stay closed. The main office in Paeroa will be open for emergencies only, for example if you have no water and no other means of contacting us.
Parks and reserves are available for use to get fresh air and exercise during Alert Level 3 but please stick to physical distancing rules while out and about and remember to wash your hands when you get home.
Playgrounds remain closed and park furniture (like picnic tables and benches) should not be used as this could contribute to the spread of Covid-19.
Events and large gatherings are still not permitted.
Mowing of berms and parks will start again, where we can do so safely.
Rubbish bins (town and parks) will be emptied, on a limited basis.
Libraries will remain closed, but online services will be available. Please do not return items to our afterhours bins - hold on to them until the library reopens.
Free wi-fi outside outside our public libraries from 8am-8pm daily. Please remember to observe 2 metre physical distancing rule.
Public toilets stay closed, with only a few exceptions that are on main freight routes.
Halls are closed.
Cemetery services are still available, however, gatherings of more than ten people (e.g. burial services at the cemetery) are currently not permitted under Alert Level 3.
Resource consent site visit inspections will start again, but with health and safety measures in place. Resource consents will continue to be processed remotely.
Food audits will be completed remotely as per MPI regulations. As we move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, many more food businesses will be able to get back to making and selling food. To assist food businesses to re-open, easier processes have been created to allow them to change the way they do their business.
Noise complaints will be responded to by phone in the first instance. Repeat calls may result in a site visit.
Alcohol licences and duty manager certificates will continue to be processed remotely. However, the timeframes have been extended due to Covid-19, so please be prepared that you may have to wait up to an extra 15 days.
Projects will get underway again. Some capital projects may be fast-tracked to aid economic recovery.
Water and meter connections will start again.
Water meter readings will start again.
Roading services are back to normal, and Council is seeking government funding/support to bring some planned works forward to help create jobs and keeping our economy moving.
Planned and routine maintenance will start again - this includes transportation, drinking water, wastewater and stormwater, as well as land drainage.
More information on these services during Level 3
Building inspections - nailing it!
Building inspections will start again, but with health and safety measures in place. In the first instance, priority will be given to inspections cancelled when we moved into Level 4. Photographs will not be accepted in place of a physical inspection. Building warrant of fitness will not be carried out.
Rubbish, Recycling and Collections after Anzac Day public holiday
Changes to Rubbish and recycling collection services due to Covid-19 still remain in place during Level 3. Fortnightly collections and all rubbish and recycling (excluding glass) must be bagged and placed in your recycling wheelie bin before 7.30am on collection day, which is your usual fortnightly recycling collection day. More information on rubbish and recycling here
Remember that kerbside collections are one day later following the ANZAC Monday public holiday (27 April). We are also accepting yellow Council bags, and mixed glass outside our Refuse Transfer Stations weekly on Thursdays. An update on how our Refuse Transfer Stations will be managed during Level 3 will be available on our website on Tuesday 28 April.
Kerbside collections for the week of Monday 28 April:
Pooping, wandering, dangerous?
After more than four weeks in lockdown, we can all appreciate how much dogs love to get out of the house! But we’re not loving their outdoor deposits so much. We’ve received a number of complaints about the increase in dog poop about the district. If you’re a dog owner, please make sure you pick up after your dog. Let’s keep our district smelling of the green outdoors only.
Ensure dog is secure
Also, a reminder to keep your dog securely on your property, or on a lead if you’re exercising them out in public places. We’ve had an increase in dog attacks in the last few weeks, mostly due to dogs not being kept securely within their properties.
Worried about a roaming or dangerous dog?
Remember, if you are concerned about a roaming dog, that you have reason to believe is a threat to public safety, please do not hesitate to contact us, and if possible take a photograph. Although we’ve had to suspend many of our day to day dog control activities in response to Covid-19, including responding to non-essential or low priority dog complaints such as roaming dogs, in situations where public safety is at risk we will respond.
Returning to work? Flush your pipes
It’s possible that water quality issues could arise in community and business facilities that have been closed under Alert Level 4 and are preparing to reopen under Alert Level 3. This is because water may have been sitting idle in your pipes and stagnated or deteriorated. For more information about about getting back to work and your water supply, check out this information from the Ministry of Health
Flush your taps every morning
Even under normal circumstances, some plumbing fittings have the potential to allow minute traces of metals to accumulate in water standing in the fittings for several hours. Although the health risk is small, the Ministry of Health recommends that you flush a mugful of water from your drinking water tap each morning before use to remove any metals that may have dissolved from the plumbing fittings.
We recommend this simple precaution for all households, including those on public and private water supplies.
Waikato Rural Support Trust - rural people helping rural people
It's been a balancing act for farmers dealing with drought conditions on top of COVID-19 restrictions.
Waikato Rural Support Trust is offering amazing support during these unprecedented times. Take a look at this range of upcoming webinars aimed at keeping yourself and your rural business healthy.
Here's their latest newsletter [PDF, 823 KB] filled with great advice and contact information
Under Level 3, roadworks can resume, so this is a good time to think about road safety. If you've almost forgotten what it feels to go faster than walking or biking speed, take extra care when you are back in your car. Expect the unexpected on State Highways and local roads.
Hang in there
We are so proud of all our Mighty Local heroes who have helped in so many ways to keep food, essential services, healthcare and businesses going during Level 4. Let's hang in there and make these last four and a half weeks count.