It’s official: sports and recreation facilities, along with all programming, will be shuttered through the end of the summer in the township of South Glengarry.
The closure means that all township-organized sports leagues, summer camps, and recreation programs are cancelled through to September 1. As well, facilities are closed and will not be accepting bookings.
The township’s notice indicated they had received 1000 registrations to date for various programs.
From the announcement…
“Township staff relied on guidance from the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU), which ensures municipalities are meeting, or exceeding, the orders issued by the Province of Ontario. The Township’s summer camp and programs, as originally planned, would not presently meet COVID-19 prevention and control measures for physical distancing requirements, participant ratios, and access to facilities,” explained Rick Ladouceur, director of recreation and facilities with the Township of South Glengarry.May 28, 2020 statement from the Township of South Glengarry
Refunds will be issued to those who had already paid for programming.
The township notes that while organized programming has been cancelled, outdoor facilities are open and available for use, with some restrictions.
Trails, tennis courts, soccer fields, and ball diamonds are open, though residents are reminded to follow physical distancing guidelines set by the Eastern Ontario Health Unit and the Ford government.
Closed in the township are the splash pad in Williamstown, play structures, picnic areas, and all indoor facilities.
Taxpayers shouldn’t be expecting a positive impact to the township’s budget, though.
As Lachlan McDonald, South Glengarry’s treasurer and general manager of corporate services, explains to me that “we have deployed a lot of those resources to maintenance items, and with halls/facilities closed it is the optimal time to re-fresh – coat of paint, plaster holes, etc. The interesting thing, when thinking about soccer, is that despite no soccer/parks, we are still keeping the grass cut.”
As well, full staff continue to work, though have been “deployed somewhat differently.”
Budget-wise, the recreation and facilities line went from $1,428,030 in 2019 to $1,759,800 for 2020. McDonald adds, “I’m hoping some of the efficiencies found during these times of austerity will have an afterglow in budget 2021 and onward.”
North Glengarry and Cornwall
In Cornwall, recreation programs remain suspended. As for facilities, the city has closed the aquatic centre, the multi-sport complex, the civic complex, the BMX track in Guindon Park, play structures, picnic areas, the outdoor gym, splash pads, and outdoor pools.
Meanwhile, outdoor recreational facilities, such as fields, ball diamonds, the skatepark, and tennis courts, are “open for low-contact, single-competitor sports. No team play is permitted. Clubhouses and change rooms remain closed.”
Some of the the city’s public washrooms at recreational areas are open, though.
Also open are Marina 200, boat launches, and trails.
North Glengarry continues to follow recommendations from the Ontario government, mayor Jamie MacDonald tells me. The township hasn’t made any decisions regarding the summer, as of yet, though.
As the North Glengarry website notes, “At this time playground equipment and bathrooms remain closed until further notice. Users are asked to respect Public Health safety recommendations while using any park installations.”