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Brock moving forward with arena plan while under uncertain pandemic climate

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

BROCK: Township of Brock council received an update recently regarding the planned reopening of all three of their municipal arenas. At a meeting on Monday, September 28th, councillors saw a report from facilities coordinator Craig Belfry regarding the township’s plan to open arenas for the fall/winter season. The opening dates were part of that report. Sunderland Memorial Centre is expected to open on October 5th. Foster Hewitt Memorial Community Centre is slated to open on October 13th. Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre is expected to open on October 19th. But the township had to tweak their arena operation plan. “Township of Brock Council has directed staff to open all three arenas on an alternating schedule with only two arenas open per day. In conversations with user groups on the level of ice demand, flexibility of moving times, and the cleaning protocols, it has become apparent that staff cannot open all three arenas on a rotating schedule and in fact must run all three arenas simultaneously for the 2020/2021 season,” read Mr. Belfry’s report. However, this fact disappointed Regional Councillor Ted Smith. “I’m a little disappointed in the user groups that they maybe couldn’t have made some accommodations. Certainly the other groups [like], baseball, lob ball, t-ball, soccer all got cancelled, and here we are making our best effort to accommodate the ice users. It obviously comes with a cost, as everything does,” He also expressed concern with inviting numerous users to their arenas during a pandemic year. “Now we’re opening our arms and inviting everyone in, that wants to come, in the possibility of renting ice. I think that’s something we have to think about. [COVID-19] cases in Ontario today went past 700, and this is a long way from over.” Ward 3 Councillor Walter Schummer commented that the current pandemic situation is fluid. “The way things are going, I’m not sure if anybody is going to hit the ice. I think we’re in for an announcement from the province soon, with these numbers going the way they are.”

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