Parks and Recreation Director Ken St-Denis presented Alfred-Plantagenet council with a plan to maintain all five of the municipal outdoor skating rinks during the 2020-2021 winter season while meeting concerns for pandemic health safety for both staff and residents.
St-Denis’s report outlined three concerns regarding maintenance cost and usage that the plan needs to address. First is the need for staff transport to all five rinks for maintenance work. Last season required assigning two or three vehicles from the municipal vehicle pool to take three workers around to each rink. This season there is no municipal vehicle available.
The second problem is that the small change room buildings where people can put on their skates are too small to meet public health guidelines for social distancing. The third concern is to provide automatic lighting of ice rinks for evening use during the season.
St-Denis provided a list of options to deal with each issue along with his own recommendations on which combination of options will best meet both the needs of residents and municipal budgeting for the winter season.
Council approved St-Denis’ recommendation that the municipality allow use of a personal vehicle for any employee assigned for ice rink maintenance duty and allocate $3000 to compensate for travel costs based on the number of kilometres driven to and from rinks.
The plan also calls for closing the change room cabins at each rink to avoid public health safety conflicts. The township will budget $2000 to provide portable toilets at each ice rink for users and also budget funds for automatic lighting systems for each rink for nighttime use.