UNITED COUNTIES of SD&G, Ontario – Summer’s almost gone, but reduced pandemic normalcy is slowing returning this fall with plans to reopen two local arenas.
The municipalities of South Stormont and South Glengarry plan to reopen their rinks and attached changing and activity spaces during the third week of September, about one to two weeks later than in 2019.
Char-Lan Recreation Centre is scheduled to have its ice ready for Sept. 21. Long Sault Arena should be open Sept. 23.
“There will be restrictions such social distancing to be in effect,” said South Stormont Mayor Bryan McGillis last week. He said precautions will mirror the steps staff took to reopen the township office on Aug. 3, noting the public lounge will be particularly challenging.
When the arena does open, staff will have to make do with the current Zamboni. The pandemic has prompted the township to delay its replacement.
With few companies to choose from, the pandemic forced the closure of production facilities, slowing the township’s tendering process.
Seeing that it would take about six to eights month before a new ice re-surfacer would be delivered, staff advised council it was best to buy a new one for the start of the 2021 rink season.
The rec department had budgeted $90,000 for the new Zamboni. This will instead by transferred to a reserve fund for next year’s purchase.
The current Zamboni is still in good enough condition for the upcoming year, say staff.
Also, the pandemic has lowered re-sale expectations for it, and the township would get a better a chance at matching its anticipated value of $12,000.