By David Judd
NORFOLK County will cautiously offer some recreation programs this summer.
In a normal year, the county operates swimming pools, splash pads, arenas, museums, sports fields, seniors centres and community halls to keep kids and adults active.
But 2020 is far from a normal year.
Norfolk County is struggling to rein in spending.
And social activities like sports must follow the rules to fight spreading COVID-19.
Many recreation facilities — including seniors centres, community halls and museums — won’t open until October at the earliest, county council was told last Tuesday.
Summer programs will be limited and some will be expected to help pay for themselves.
Programs open this summer:
o?Ice rentals at Waterford arena — eight weeks; maximum nine skaters and an instructor; $210 an hour.
o?Golf and racquet activities — August; maximum eight students; $182 per week for golf; $257 per week for racquet sports.
o?Splash pads — Simcoe and Delhi; seven days a week from July 6 until Aug. 28, maximum of 10 users at a time; cost to taxpayers $14,000.
o?Virtual programs — Recreation and heritage staff will offer paid children’s programming in July and August.
o?Ball diamonds and sports fields — free for residents to play on; Simcoe Minor Baseball has booked some diamonds on weekdays in July and August for development and training.
Council should cap taxpayers’ costs at no more than $50,000 or $75,000, Community and Emergency Services General Manager Bill Cridland told council.
Norfolk will offer more summer programs than some of its neighbouring municipalities, CAO Jason Burgess said.
Some municipalities have cancelled all of their programs, Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin said in an interview.
Norfolk’s programs will offer kids “some kind of normalcy,” Coun. Martin said.
Councillors last Tuesday expressed concern that Simcoe’s indoor pool at the Annaleise Carr Aquatic Centre might not open until October.
The pool needs three weeks of repairs and it might take time to bring back staff who have been redeployed to higher priority jobs fighting COVID-19, Mr. Cridland said. He promised more information in August.
Posted in Port Dover Maple Leaf July 8, 2020