Latchford arena staying closed this winter

·2 min read

LATCHFORD – The Latchford arena will be closed to the public this winter.

The decision on whether to open it or not was discussed at Latchford council’s regular meeting November 19.

Councillor Perry Livingston noted that public works foreman Roger Clark had some questions for council in his report, one of them being whether or not they were going to open the arena this winter.

Livingston expressed his concern that the town didn’t have any safeguards in place and that the hallway in the arena was “too congested to allow for social distancing.”

Councillor Mike Brooks commented that the community is still safeguarding against COVID-19 and that with case numbers “moving in the wrong direction,” that it would be best to keep the arena closed to the public.

Councillor Scott Green agreed with what both Livingston and Brooks said, adding “I would say no (to opening the arena) at this point. I mean, we have zero safeguards in place for this.”

Green suggested Latchford could visit the idea of having an outdoor rink for the public to use come January instead.

He also reasoned that if they were to open the arena, then residents would say, “you opened the rink, why don’t you open the gym?”

Councillor Francine Blowe brought up the issue of keeping the bathrooms cleaned and sanitized, keeping in line with COVID protocols, which would put more pressure on town staff.

Mayor George Lefebvre, who was participating in the meeting via teleconference, commented he didn’t feel opening the arena this winter would be feasible.

“I would think that clearing a rink on the lake would be a much better option, but that’s just my thoughts,” he said.

Livingston added that Clark had talked about creating an outdoor rink on the lake and having skating out there, which council agreed would be in the town’s best interest.

Jamie Mountain, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Temiskaming Speaker