DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard
BROCK: The Township of Brock has decided that all three of their arenas will reopen this fall. At a special council meeting on Friday, September 11th, councillors discussed a report from facilities coordinator Craig Belfry regarding the possible stage three reopening of township arenas for the 2020-2021 ice season. The report recommended preparing and opening two of the township’s arenas, Sunderland Memorial Arena and Rick MacLeish Memorial Community Centre, while keeping the Foster Hewitt Memorial Community Centre in Beaverton closed for the season. “Staffing requirements under COVlD-19 restrictions and operations are higher than normal, therefore in order to operate three arenas, the Township would need to increase staffing allotments to maintain the traditional operations of each individual arena,” Mr. Belfry’s report explained. “Alternatively, based currently on a 19 percent reduction in ice rentals overall from the user groups, the Township should be looking to only open two arenas, at this time. This will allow for the re-deployment of the existing staff composition into just two facilities, to meet the operational needs under COVlD-19.”
However, Ward 2 Councillor Claire Doble made a motion, which was later passed, for the township to open all three of their arenas next month, “with reduced operating hours with the existing staff complement.” The motion also called for the Township to run public skating, mom and tots, shinny, and stick and puck programs. Councillor Doble explained why she feels they should open all three arenas. “People are going a little bit stir crazy staying at home, and in the summer months we’ve had the opportunity to get outside and be active, be in the fresh air. But I think as winter approaches, people are going to be looking for outlets to get physical activity in, to engage socially in a safe way, and I think by opening all three of our arenas it really gives our community that opportunity,” she stated. Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell expressed her support of opening all three arenas, “I think it would be good for the morale of all of our residents if we opened all three arenas.” Council is expected to receive another report with more information on the cost and implementation plan of opening all three arenas and providing this level of programming at a future meeting.