“This is an opportunity,” said Mayor Paula Assaly, during the November 30 council session. The provincial and federal governments are offering funding help for critical municipal infrastructure work under the COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream fund (CVRIS). The funding covers costs for retrofit work on community, recreational, school, or hospital and other health service facilities to deal with public health safety issues related to COVID-19.
Examples of possible work that would qualify for CVRIS funding include heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems (HVAC) to improve filtration of dust particles that could carry the virus through the air. Eligible work also includes signage on walking trails to promote social distancing by users.
Hawkesbury can apply for up $175,213 in CVRIS funding aid. Municipal administration recommends applying for help to cover costs for retrofitting work at the Robert Hartley Sports Complex to deal with public health issues related to COVID-19.
A consultant’s report on the complex noted several problems with the existing design for the foyer area. The information desk setup “does not offer good control of the comings and goings at the complex” to ensure that people coming into the building use the sanitizer station set up at the main entrance and also practice social distancing in the common areas.
The report also noted “there is no control over the comings and goings of each of the rooms, therefore it is not possible to know if the maximum number of people (allowed) has been reached without doing a manual count.” The problem is critical for ensuring public health safety for the gymnasium, pool, and arena areas.
Suggested changes to the facility included in the consultant’s report includes retrofits to the main entrance doors, stereoscopic cameras at the entrances to the different rooms to help keep track of the number of people going in and out of the rooms and issue a warning alert if there are any “gathering size” problems, and a review of the sports complex’s HVAC to make sure it meets current pandemic health safety needs.
The deadline for CVRIS applications if just one project is involved is December 21. Work on any approved projects must begin by September 30, 2021 and be finished by December 31, 2021.
Following discussion on other municipal infrastructure work that could benefit from CVRIS funding, council voted to focus Hawkesbury’s application on financial aid for the sports complex retrofit. The deciding argument was that the sports complex provides “critical” winter recreation opportunities for the public.