The department has been closed until further notice, although parks and trails remain open to residents who practice social distancing guideliness
VICTOR — The Victor Town Board has made the decision to suspend all parks and recreation programming, and to close the town of Victor Recreation Department effective Tuesday.
The actions were taken because of the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and need to maintain social distancing guidelines, and the feeling among town officials that proceeding with any of the recreation programs or activities would violate the mandates, restrictions, and prohibitions instituted by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The decision was “extremely difficult” as four full-time employees are now on furlough and one part-time employee was laid off, according to Supervisor Jack Marren.
Marren, who also is chairman of the Ontario County Board of Supervisors, said he painted a dark picture a month ago to staff at both the town and county, which has largely proved true.
The pandemic has had an impact on sales tax revenue as well as permit fees and other sources of revenue, and the uncertainty over when society will reopen persists.
Marren estimated the loss at $2.5 million on the high end.
“There are a number of things playing into this,” Marren said. “It’s tough.”
Several of the recreation programs make use of Victor schools, which remain closed — and again, it’s uncertain when they will be reopened, Marren said.
The decision to suspend the summer recreation and summer swim programs, as well as the summer concert series — which was going to expand by two dates this year — made the most sense now, Marren said.
This enables seasonal workers and vendors to make other employment plans now, should jobs be available for them later on, Marren said.
Any residents who have signed up for programs will be issued refunds.
Victor officials said the program would begin again, but only at such a time when programs can be carried out safely for both town employees and program participants.
Victor parks and trails continue to remain open, but users are urged to practice social distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet of personal space.
Residents also are asked to refrain from using playgrounds, tennis courts, and the Dryer Road Park box rink until further notice.
Remaining employees, including the Parks and Recreation director and assistant, will be shifted to the parks operation, Marren said.
“Staffing cuts are usually the last choice,” Marren said. “We’re left with no choice.”