Tuesday, September 22, 2020

‘Staggered approach’ being taken to re-opening arenas

The Municipality of Chatham-Kent is taking a “staggered approach” to re-opening arenas across the community.

Don Shropshire, Chief Administrative Officer for the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, addressed the issue during a press conference held last week.

Shropshire said the initial recommendation was to open three of the rinks: Tilbury, Chatham and Blenheim.

“What we’re seeing is there is interest coming back to skating, but it is far lower numbers than we’ve had in previous years,” Shropshire said.

“What is being recommended to Council is that we do a staggered approach as we start to get more demands. As soon as we reach, what’s being recommended is about 75% of the capacity, then we would consider re-opening additional rinks.”

Shropshire said the Municipality is trying to fill some of the arenas already open, before opening up others.

“We’re trying to be responsible with the cost of opening an arena and we’re trying to make sure if we have very low numbers that we’re trying to ship those folks to a fewer number of arenas, so they can still get access to the ice,” he said.

On top of Tilbury, Chatham and Blenheim arenas being open, the Ken Houston Memorial Agricultural Centre in Dresden has also been re-opened.

An update with more details and a report to Council is expected this month.

Arenas across Chatham-Kent were closed back in the middle of March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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