The City of Campbell River is slowly adding money back into the Recreation and Culture Department’s budget to enable it to continue opening up more programming and still keep people safe. Photo courtesy City of Campbell River

City of Campbell River slowly expands recreation opportunities

Increased cleaning requirements brings increased cost

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, one of the first moves the City of Campbell River made was to close facilities where the virus could be spread by the public congregating, such as recreation hubs and community centres.

When that happened, the city pulled more than $700,000 back from the Recreation and Culture budget, as that department was only providing “virtual and outreach services,” according to a staff report presented at the Aug. 31 meeting of city council.

When the department began reintroducing in-person services in July, however, the city re-injected $93,000 back into the department’s budget.

A report presented to council Aug. 31 requested the addition of another $30,000 to continue the department’s “progressive and systematic approach to restarting in-person programming.”

That money will go towards increasing the operations at the Community Centre and Sportsplex, specifically, and much of the money will go towards implementing COVID-19 safety measures and additional cleaning and sanitization because the pandemic also triggered a requirement for enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of city facilities.

RELATED: Campbell River and SRD close recreation facilities

In the past, most city facilities have relied on contractors to clean facilities after hours, but those contractors were unable to provide the level of cleaning required within their existing contracts when the new requirements were implemented.

Many employees of the city’s Recreation and Culture department – specifically the Facility Service Workers (FSWs) – were redeployed to facilities like the airport, the Dogwood Operation Centre and the Downtown Safety Office to provide the enhanced cleaning needed at those facilities to keep them operational, while others were laid off.

“Staff are currently planning to gradually increase our indoor fitness offerings, expand weight room hours, gradually bring the 50+ members back and gradually introduce programs for children and families,” the report says, adding that while the pilot programming that has been reintroduced in the past two months has been “highly successful,” the department won’t be able to continue to expand services without additional FSWs.

“What we’ve learned during these pilots is that we can actually do more than we’d planned,” city general manager Ron Bowles told council during the discussions.

“But as we start getting ready for the fall and bringing more and more of our programs indoors – we know what happens in Campbell River in the fall, it starts raining – we need more of our Facility Service Workers, who are presently engaged in disinfecting the rest of our facilities.

This $30,000 is the cost from now until Dec. 31 to get some additional Facility Service Workers so we can offer the indoor programming at the Sportsplex and Community Centre and still do the disinfection services for the rest of the city.”

RELATED: Fitness Pods to open at Strathcona Gardens

The budget increase was approved by council.

“I want to give a huge thank you to our recreation staff at all our facilities for what they’re doing,” said Coun. Claire Moglove. “I participated in one of the fitness classes this morning – it was the first one that was indoors – and the extent to which they are making it safe for everyone is great.

“They’ve done everything they can to make it safe and the response has been very good,” adding that she feels the lack of organized recreation activities throughout the pandemic “has really been missed by the community.”

Watch the Recreation and Culture Department’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/campbellriverrec) for details on when various programs are re-opening and the safety precautions being taken.



miked@campbellrivermirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Coast Range makes a spectacular backdrop for orca heading towards Discovery Passage of Campbell River Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Photo by Frank Neil
Island wildlife viewers thrilled by close view of passing Orca pod

Group gives wildlife photographers a classic opportunity to view them off Campbell River shoreline

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
MP Blaney invites feds to establish B.C.’s economic development agency on Vancouver Island

Citing the recent economic challenges faced by her riding, the MP says there’s no region more fitting of this mandate

The Campbell River Sportsplex in Willow Point is the voting station for the Feb. 27 municipal byelection. Voting runs from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
Voting underway in Campbell River’s municipal byelection

You can cast your ballot today at the Sportsplex until 8 p.m.

With the full build-out of its 477 Hilchey Road development almost complete, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North is setting its sights on its next batch of housing: right next door. Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror
Habitat for Humanity looks to start a third Hilchey Road project

With the current site on Hilchey Road in the final stage of… Continue reading

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The humanoid sensing robot has a 3D printed finger cap that measures oxygen levels. (Dr. Woo Soo Kim)
Medical care robots being made with 3D origami in B.C. lab

Would you let a robot take your temperature?

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent must come first and last for B.C. industrial projects

UN declaration seen as end to a history of horror stories

FILE  - In this Friday, Jan 1, 2021 file photo, a lorry driver's documents are scanned on a phone as he passes a checkpoint for the train through the Eurotunnel link with Europe in Folkestone, England. One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union's economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. Meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of byzantine new paperwork. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File)
FINLAYSON: Government should focus on strengthening B.C.’s leading export industries

To revive the economy, this piece in the strategy is integral, writes Jock Finlayson

A cross-country skier glides along the banks of the Ottawa River in Ottawa on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Canadians across the country can look forward to a mild spring peppered with the odd winter flashback throughout the first part of the season, according to predictions from one prominent national forecaster. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Mild spring with some wintry blasts predicted for most of Canada: Weather Network

Weather Network is forecasting a slower than average start to spring in British Columbia

AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ready for use at the vaccination center in Apolda, Germany, Sunday, Feb.28, 2021. (Michael Reichel/dpa via AP)
Feds hoping for AstraZeneca shots this week as Pfizer-BioNTech prepare next delivery

The first of those doses could start to arrive in Canada as early as Wednesday

Most Read