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Elliot Lake will take pandemic re-opening slow, starting this week

Baseball diamonds, playgrounds with play structures will remain closed
File photo shows Elliot Lake City Hall in July, 2018. Kris Svela for ElliotLakeToday

At its virtual meeting on Monday night, Elliot Lake City Council approved extending a hiatus on Committee Meetings and Advisory Committee Meetings until the end of June.

City CAO Daniel Gagnon wrote, "As time permits, staff will start to work on Zoom or other forms of alternate meeting options to seek input from stakeholders, where needed."

He suggested, "Council may want to transition the Virtual Town Halls on COVID-19 to an unofficial (but single focused) council meeting. That way, after hearing new information from healthcare stakeholders, council can make decisions if needed to adjust levels of service, open/close spaces, etc."

For the past two months city meetings have basically alternated between Council sessions and COVID-19 Virtual Town Halls, week to week.

Council was also asked to clarify if closed sessions should remain in person (yet officially distant), as opposed to other video conferencing options. 

Councillor Sandy Finamore said for personal reasons she doesn't want to attend any meetings at City Hall, closed or not, in the foreseeable future. She told Council she felt very uncomfortable at the last one, early this month.

Councillor Ed Pearce expressed the opposite view, saying he preferred socially distanced face to face meetings while COVID-19 restrictions remain in effect. Council decided the virtual meetings will continue.

As part of a gentle re-opening process, city-owned Westview Park on Highway 108 will be open to the public starting Tues. June 2 for picnics and day use only. The playground remains off limits.

No overnight camping will be allowed at adjacent  Westview Trailer Park, which will open on June 2, as well. Adjacent trails to Westview remain off-limits too. Gagnon said that was done to prevent people walking the trails to Spruce Beach while the beach remains closed with no lifeguards on the site.

The Elliot Lake Boat Launch, and only the boat launch in that area, will open Thursday as well.

The Senator Dog Park will be closely monitored to make sure users observe social distancing regulations after it re-opens on Tuesday, May 26.

Gagnon said in his report, "For the next week at least, all public washrooms will remain closed. All structures remain off-limits by order of the province. Benches and picnic tables can be used (at the user's own risk). They are not sanitized, nor cleaned, on a regular basis."

The staged re-opening continues on Thursday (May 28) at two other sites. That day, Monument Park and Horne Lake Park will re-open. 

The same day the Elliot Lake Boat Launch (launch and parking lot only) will be opened. Marina slips, the boardwalk and the pier remain barricaded and closed to the public.

Sheriff Creek Parklng Lot and main access point on Milliken Mine Road remain closed, for now. 

Closed for the foreseeable future are the Rio Den Tennis Court / Skate Park, the Splash Pad, all ball diamonds, playgrounds with play structures, the Elliot Lake Boardwalk, fishing pier, and marina slips. 

Gagnon said the Boardwalk on Elliot Lake shifted over the winter and the contractor is due to arrive soon to investigate and re-settle the structure before it's put back into use. The long awaited shade sails on the pier will be installed soon as well.