Staff with the Dryden Pool and Fitness Centre say they’re continuing to work on a reopening plan that ensures the safety of their staff and the community, but no firm opening date has been announced yet.

Community Services Manager Steve Belanger presented a report to city councillors during a virtual council meeting earlier this week, where he discussed the value of reopening the facility, but also the substantial reopening and staffing costs that are expected.

Ultimately, councillors will be voting on whether to reopen both the pool and fitness centre, on just reopening the fitness facilities, or to keep both the pool and fitness centre closed until further notice.

Councillors have proposed opening up just the fitness centre on potentially August 17, and using those reopening procedures to guide future procedures at the pool area. Belanger noted employees need at least a 10 day recall notice before returning to work.

“I’m all about safety on this. I don’t really care about the cost. I want people safe first. It’s a new world out there for everybody. We all have to get used to the new rules. It’s our right as a community to expect everyone to be unselfish, and treat everyone else the same way,” said councillor Marty MacKinnon, who supported opening the fitness centre on a limited basis, as well as the use of masks.

Estimated monthly staffing costs associated with the city’s COVID-19 layoffs total nearly $5,400. Opening just the fitness centre will bring those costs to roughly $11,000. Opening up both areas will bring the city’s costs to over $23,000.

However, Belanger’s report estimates that opening up the fitness centre would bring in about $5,000 in revenue each month, and the pool would bring in an additional $2,000 per month.

Belanger’s report also recommends that the fitness centre should use an appointment-based system, and any pool activities would need to be reserved. Similar systems have also been put in place in Kenora and Sioux Lookout.

Recently, city staff have reopened all city playgrounds, splash pads and public washrooms at a number of facilities. When visiting any of the facilities, residents are asked to follow all social distancing and COVID-19 restrictions and signage at all times.

Public washrooms are available at: Kinsmen Park, Plumridge Park, Earl’s Court, Van Horne Landing and Sandy Beach Park.

Park rentals will also be available to groups under 100 people. Rental arrangements can be made by calling the Public Works office at 807-223-2367. Any questions or concerns can also be directed to Public Works.

For more information:
Dryden to reopen playgrounds, splash pads
Library to reopen in early August