Township council endorses Mount Forest Block Parent program

WELLINGTON NORTH – Council here has unanimously endorsed a Block Parent program that has been launched in the town of Mount Forest.

The program consists of a network of safe homes for people of all ages to access in an emergency situation. The familiar red and white Block Parent sign is a symbol that indicates a police-screened and Block Parent-trained adult is available to offer assistance should the need arise.

Block parents will place their sign in a street-facing window when they are home and available. The sign indicates to community members that a police-screened and trained adult is available to place a phone call if a child or community member needs assistance. Each sign has its own certificate number that is used to connect the sign with the sign holder.

“With council’s endorsement, the Block Parent Program will now be able to recruit/screen/train Block Parent volunteers, educate the community and schools about the program, and seek out fundraising opportunities to cover administrative costs, advertising, meetings, and marketing materials,” said Barb Leigh in her presentation to council on April 26.

Sidewalk Saturday Shopping program

Council unanimously supported closing Main Street in Mount Forest on July 10 and August 14, as well as George Street in Arthur on June 26 and September 11, as part of the “Wellington North Shop Local Sidewalk Saturday Shopping Program.”

The program is an effort to promote downtown shopping and ensure physical distancing in a safe and comfortable environment.

“I think this is a great way for businesses to open their doors and drive business in a safe and responsible way,” said councillor Steve McCabe.

Community Improvement Program

Council also voted unanimously in favour of four façade improvement grants, through the township’s Community Improvement Program (CIP):

– $2,500 to Freycom, located at 130 and 142 Main Street North in Mount Forest;

– 2,500 to Paul Van Grootheest, owner of 244 George Street in Arthur;

– $700 to Iscreamm Cone Company at 207 George Street in Arthur; and

– grants totalling $6,500 to Peter Irvine, owner of 9121 Highway 6.

“I think when we can help local businesses, especially during this last pandemic period, they need all the help we can give them,” said councillor Steve McCabe.

“I’m happy that we have this grant system that we set up to help our community.

“It would be nice to have a store open in Ward 4 in Kenilworth again.”