During last night’s council meeting, Stephan Poulin, Director of Economic Development and Community Services presented a memorandum to council recommending certain facilities re-open for public use.
The memo recommends that on September 19th, halls such as the Complex’s Hall of Fame, the Cache Bay Community Centre hall (large room only), Verner Arena’s hall, and the Sturgeon Falls River House Museum’s hall be open for the public with the primary use of funeral receptions and weddings.
Poulin says that the receptions would have to follow provincial and Health Unit guidelines, and the potential for other events to will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Marcel Noel Hall, which is doubling as the community’s COVID assessment centre, would remain closed for rentals as the community will be relying on the assessment centre during the coming months.
On top of the halls, the Complex Fitness Centre will be opening October 5, the Sturgeon Falls Arena will be opening October 13, and the Complex pool will re-open October 19.
All facilities will adhere to provincial guidelines of having a max amount of 50 allowed indoors.
They also voted to keep the Sturgeon River House Museum closed until further notice, as well as the Verner Arena and fitness centre.
“The rationale behind that is we don’t see a great influx of tourists coming in the fall, regardless of the year, and more so this year with the pandemic. We would like a bit more time to see what the museum can offer moving forward. We would like to prepare a revised operations plan and bring it back to council.” said Poulin. For the Verner facilities, Poulin stated that “the Verner fitness centre is tied to the arena. We’ve looked at different ways to re-open it, but we don’t think it’s feasible to do so until the arena opens fully. We have to ensure everyone’s safety and we need full-time staff to ensure contact tracing and that only members are accessing the facilities.”
For a timeline on the Verner arena re-opening, Poulin said that starting in November, they will gauge the need for ice time by local user groups such as minor hockey and figure skating.
“Once we get a better indication of how much ice time is required, and once we are at a point where we think one facility isn’t enough, and that the increased demand for ice is financially feasible, we will come back to council and recommend the opening of the second arena.” Said Poulin.
It was also passed that user fees will remain the same for the facilities, and a fee review will be completed in the near future and brought back to Council for considering for the 2021 budget.
For the Complex facilities, Poulin says that month passes will be available, which will showcase the program for the month as well as what the activities are going to be. Residents can decide to become members or not for that month.
No walk-ins will be allowed for the foreseeable future.
He says this will allow for contact tracing if an outbreak occurs.
An awareness campaign by the municipality pertaining to protocols and facility guidelines will begin shortly.