• Nick Zacharias

Hudson swimmers left out to dry


PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS

The deck at the Hudson Community Pool will officially remain empty for the summer of 2020, while the town elects to move up some scheduled maintenance that was due this fall.

The Hudson Community Pool (HCP) will officially stay closed for 2020. Though the pool closure announcement of was made weeks ago, along with the cancellation of all summer festivals, events, and day camps, council later tasked the recreation department with analyzing what it would take to get the pool open while meeting requirements for COVID-19. When the report was presented, council opted to leave the pool closed.

“They asked me to put together the options, to see what it would cost and what it would look like to open the pool under current conditions,” said Daniel Landry, who is serving as interim Director of Recreation, Culture, Tourism and Communications for the Town of Hudson. “It’s my job to show them what it would take, and it was up to council to decide what to do with that.”

Challenges to opening the pool included a beefier sanitation regimen and limiting the number of bathers to allow for social distancing. “We would have been able to allow a maximum of 30 people at a time,” said Landry, “and there would have to have been a system for registering ahead of time to reserve spots.”

Other area pools are open

Other area municipalities have opened pools in spite of the challenges. Saint-Lazare, Vaudreuil-Dorion, Pincourt, Terrasses-Vaudreuil and L’Île-Perrot all have outdoor pools that are open daily, and all are free of charge to residents. The pool at Parc Nature les Forestiers-de-Saint-Lazare is also open to non-residents for a fee, and the Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue pool is closed but they are “…working hard to find measures that will allow you to use the pool safely,” with an opening date to be announced soon.

Association of Lakeshore Pools (ALPs) sanctioned events (swim team, diving, water polo and synchro) are cancelled for the season, as are swimming lessons, but each of the above pools have added blocks of free swim and lane swimming times. Specific hours and procedures are visible on their respective websites.

PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS

Kids enjoying a socially-distanced swim at the Hudson Yacht Club, a private club that like many local municipal pools made the push to open this summer with approval from the provincial government.

“It was definitely a challenge getting ready to open,” said Leanda Townsend, Pool and Playground Director at the Hudson Yacht Club, a private club down the road from HCP. “All of the personal protective equipment is expensive, and we had to pay for the online system for members to book their swim times. Even finding staff was tough – lifeguards have to recertify every two years, but all of that was shut down so we had to scramble to find lifeguards who were current.” In spite of the challenges, Townsend said opening day was rewarding. “Just seeing kids having fun in the pool makes me so happy, that makes it worth the effort.”

Facing the heat

With lots of hot weather on the horizon, no community pool and no legal access to the local beach, Hudson’s population will be looking for ways to cope with the heat. “For the kids, we made a deal with the day camp at Collège Bourget in Rigaud, where they have access to plenty of indoor rooms,” said Landry, “so kids from Hudson can go and the town will cover the difference in cost.”

As for anyone over day camp age, “…if the heat gets to be too much, we’ll provide access to the community centre, so people can cool off in a climate-controlled place.”

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