West Nipissing (WN) council is not following suit with the province and won’t re-open many of their facilities. At least not right away.
At last night’s council meeting, Director of Economic Development and Community Services for West Nipissing, Stephan Poulin, said that under phase 2, and soon phase 3, the municipality is allowed to re-open certain facilities. But Poulin followed that statement with, “Just because we are allowed to open, doesn’t mean we have to. When we do open, I want it done with safety to not only the public but our staff as well.”
Some of those facilities included the recreation centre, which houses the municipality’s gym and pool, as well as the Sturgeon River House Museum.
Poulin asked Councillors that those facilities remain closed until at least Sept. 1. In the meantime, they would continue to monitor new information as well as surrounding communities, and make further recommendations as the summer continues.
“One of the big reasons for this decision is that once these facilities re-open, they just won’t be the same,” Poulin told council last night. “Our fitness centre is a small space. [To keep up with health guidelines] we will have less equipment available to the public. We will make it by appointment, and have time limits. Same goes for public swimming.”
Council also voted for a prorated refund for all paid memberships for the pool and fitness centre, as well as all associated programs (swimming lessons, etc.)
“We are going to want to formulate a new membership agreement that state how the facilities are going to work. Once we put that out, then those members can decide if they want to come back,” added Poulin.
Another key reopening would be the West Nipissing arenas. Once again, WN council followed Poulin’s discretion, and were happy to wait for more specific guidelines. Poulin said he would then return to council with a specific timeline on when the arenas would be able to re-open.