By Craig Westcott / July 28, 2023
A reorganization of staff in the Town of CBS recreation department was responsible for a delay earlier this month in maintenance at some tot lots and other parks.
Town workers could be seen hustling with mowers and trimmers on the first weekend of the Kelligrews Soiree hurrying to bring the facilities into summer shape.
“Myself, and I know many other councillors have received a lot of questions and concerns about the grass throughout the community,” Ward 1 councillor Shelley Moores, who chair council’s recreation committee, reported at the July 18 public council meeting. “I wanted to give a little update, because I know a lot of people are frustrated. With the new collective agreement, we saw quite a significant amount of staff moving within our organization. Our Recreation and Leisure Services labour pool is operating at a quarter of its normal capacity. But that said, job hiring has begun and is nearing completion, and we hope to have staff in place very soon. This is unionized work so we’re very limited obviously as to who we can get to do it. Our current unionized staff have agreed to alternate working schedules to accommodate our current needs and we thank them tremendously for that.”
By that point staff had largely caught up with the maintenance work.
“I just want people to know that we understand your frustrations,” Moores added. “This is an anomaly and many things led to this being a 25 per cent workforce within the rec department. But we want to thank you for your patience and hope that you understand that we are doing our best in trying to get this done as quickly as possible, and in the next week or two you will notice some big differences.”
Mayor Darrin Bent thanked the workers for what he described as “yeoman’s service” in catching up on the work over the weekend of July 15-16.
“It’s great to hear the lawnmowers going from one end of town to the other again, and I can pretty well assure residents that this will be the only time we’ll have to worry about this issue going forward,” he said. Bent said it takes three and a half weeks to mow every single bit of grass at Town-owned facilities and grounds. “That’s a lot of places to mow,” he allowed. “So, getting it done in about 10 days is great work and once it’s caught up, I’m sure it will be caught up for the rest of the summer. So, thank you to the Recreation staff for that.”