HCA proposes closing Wild Waterworks for 2020 amid coronavirus pandemic

It appears that Wild Waterworks will remain closed this summer.

The Hamilton Conservation Authority (HCA), which operates the water park under a management agreement with the City of Hamilton, is putting that proposal before city council on Wednesday.

A staff report says closing Wild Waterworks for the 2020 operating season would result in an estimated operating loss to the city of $425,000.

The report also warns that the loss could soar to $2.63 million if the water park was prepared and staffed for the summer because of a number of risks associated with COVID-19.

Those risks include low attendance, mandated maximum crowd sizes and physical-distancing requirements and costs related to barriers for staff and personal protective equipment.

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City staff suggest covering the $425,000 loss from the tax stabilization reserve.

Ward 5 Coun. Chad Collins says the suggested closure of the water park is “disappointing but not surprising.”

Collins says “logistically there just isn’t enough time for the HCA and the city to make those services available.” Even if they were available, Collins adds that he doesn’t think “there’s public confidence at this point in time for people to use facilities like Wild Waterworks.”

He also stresses that pausing the operations of the water park for this season will allow for badly needed maintenance and repairs and “we’ll see what happens in 2021.”

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