DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is opening their splash pads ahead of Canada Day.
“Splash pads and their associated washrooms will be open daily, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., as of June 26th, before the week of Canada Day. That includes Garnet Graham park in Fenelon [Falls], Tommy Anderson park in Bobcaygeon and Elgin Park in Lindsay,” Mayor Andy Letham told reporters, during a telephone press conference on Wednesday, June 17th.
But the City will be putting some precautions in place. “There’ll be some criteria in place for safety. A limited number of participants will be allowed in the splash pad area at [any one] time. The waterflow will have to be stopped every few hours to go through a bit of a sanitation process. We’ll be cleaning the washrooms regularly, just to make sure we’re creating a safe and healthy environment, for any of the kids and parents that want to utilize these services,” Mayor Letham explained.
Mayor Letham told The Standard how the City is going to make sure residents follow these new regulations at splash pad sites. “We’re going to have to have some staff people at each facility, just managing and making sure the distancing [is followed] and the kids are going to have fun. Kids are going to be kids. Someone’s going to have to be there. There’s going to be certain pieces of equipment, water guns and stuff that are part of some splash pads that [people] won’t be able to [use]. It will just be passive splash pad activity,” he said. “We’ll have a staff person at each facility the hours that it is open, just maintaining and making sure that we are doing it safely. We’ll have crews cleaning the washrooms regularly. We’ll see how it goes, and if we have to make any changes we will.”
Mayor Letham also addressed how the City will provide that staffing. “We are recalling some of our staff now, and some of our aquatics staff, that we usually bring in to assist with pools and things in the city that aren’t open yet. We’ll be reallocating them to some of the splash pads to assist with some of the summer activities that are opening before the pools begin to open. We’re just reallocating staff wherever we need [them].”
The mayor stressed the importance of people following safety regulations when they leave their homes.
“Although we’re encouraging people to go out and have some fun, we want everyone to keep in mind that we’re still in a state of emergency, and we’re not done with this pandemic by any means,” he said.
CAO Ron Taylor explained the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit has an approval process for the reopening of services like the splash pads.