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Burlington City Council votes to modify parks and beach operations amid COVID-19



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Burlington City Council votes to modify parks and beach operations amid COVID-19

Burlington City Council approved the motion for modifications to the city’s parks operation service.

With the changes, the fencing will be removed at Beachway Park. It will also allow for temporary washroom facilities to be installed at Spencer Smith Park, Beachway Park, and Burloak Park with “enhanced service” to increase sanitization and hygiene efforts with the COVID-19 pandemic in mind.

Meanwhile, the fencing at Beachway Park will be taken down next week and the portable toilets and handwashing stations will be installed at Beachway Park, dependent on availability.

“City staff installed the fence to allow time to make the beach safe for residents, conduct water testing, and avoid the crowding we saw in this area”, said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“Council and I have voted to remove the fence, now that this work is nearing completion, including grooming the beach for use and installing additional signage. Washrooms will also be installed in place of the ones closed due to the pavilion construction.”

The City of Burlington added that when walking along the beach, residents should continue to be “vigilant about public health practices and provincial directives to reduce the spread of COVID-19”, including:

  • Maintaining 2 metre physical distance from anyone you don’t live with
  • Gathering in groups of 5 or fewer
  • Staying home if you feel sick
  • Washing and sanitizing hands before and after visiting the area.

The washrooms in the pavilion at Beachway Park will remain closed as a result of pre-existing structural issues which are scheduled to be corrected with construction in September 2020. In their place, portable bathrooms and handwashing stations will be made available and cleaned by park staff on a regular basis.

“I’m asking residents and our visitors to the beach to be respectful of each other, keep 6 ft. from anyone not in your household, and limit your stay so we can have a flow through and more people can enjoy our amenities”, added Meed Ward.

“We are trusting you to be reasonable and respectful. We know the beach is a cherished spot in our community, and its use contributes to the well-being of everyone who uses it.”

The temporary washroom facilities at Spencer Smith Park, Beachway Park, and Burloak Park will be installed once available from the supplier, approximately the end of June, according to staff. While the re-opening of other city park washrooms, with enhanced cleaning, will be phased in.

City Council also said it has approved the hiring of students and temporary staff to assist with this important service and general park maintenance.

They added that staff will provide reduced beach maintenance, including grooming the beach and enhanced cleaning of washrooms.

Halton Region monitors public beaches for safe water quality for swimmers; however, water quality testing at Beachway Park by Halton Region Public Health is currently not taking place. 

“The resumption of City services and spaces is something everyone is looking forward to, but we must continue to do it slowly and carefully with the right precautions,” added City staff.

“We ask for your patience and understanding as the city works to ensure it has resources and policies in place that align with Provincial regulations and the latest guidance from Halton Region public health to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

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