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Uxbridge delays reopening arena

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

UXBRIDGE: The Township of Uxbridge is pushing back a decision on when to reopen the Uxbridge Arena until at least early October. At a special council meeting on Wednesday, September 2nd, councillors approved a motion to defer a decision on when to reopen the local arena to their October 5th meeting. The original plan floated to council was to reopen later this month, but councillors were concerned with the timeline. “We don’t have actuals yet. They are still being gathered and analyzed,” Ward 3 Councillor Bruce Garrod said. “We just really don’t know what is going to happen.” Councillor Garrod added if there is a second wave of COVID-19, he expects parents will quickly pull their kids out of minor hockey. Ward 5 Councillor Todd Snooks made the case for studying how schools handle their reopenings before opening the arena back up. “We have a major start next week with schools starting. If there is going to be a concern, we will see that concern in the month of September. Should we open the arena in the month of September, or should we wait until October when we know if there’s a concern or not?” he questioned. The Uxbridge arena has been closed since the middle of March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The North Durham Minor Hockey Association (NDMHA) was shocked by council’s decision. “We wish to advise our members that over 2 months of communications with the Township of Uxbridge, this option was never presented to your organization. We proceeded with program planning and are working on our Return to Play Requests to the Ontario Minor Hockey Association and Ontario Womens Hockey Association. We were completely blindsided by this misinformed decision,” read a post on the NDMHA website. “We will continue to explore all options. To state that we are disappointed for our members is a gross understatement of our current position. We will update you as soon as possible on how we will proceed with our programming.”

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