Wasaga Beach beachfront 'pods' catch the attention of Sauble Beach officials
BARRIE, ONT. -- Wasaga Beach has created new pods sectioning its municipally-owned beachfront to help with physically distancing, a move that has caught the attention of South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson.
Both Wasaga and Sauble beaches have struggled to adhere to public health protocols with thousands of day-trippers flocking north.
Mayor Jackson recently held a Zoom meeting with the mayors of several beach communities, including Wasaga Beach, which will start testing the new pods this week.
"I'm really anxious to hear how that works out for them. They are going to have two staff members stationed at each entrance, and that's for the entire day," Jackson said the experiment is labour-intensive.
"This type of COVID situation is expensive for everybody, and so they are going to have to hire eight people for 12 hours shifts basically to cover the gate-keeping of these four pods," she added.
South Bruce Peninsula owns four kilometres of beach, and Jackson said it would be more difficult to divide it into pods.
"The difference between us, though, is the municipality, or the town of Wasaga Beach, only owns 800 feet of their beach property. The Ministry of Natural Resource is in charge of the balance of it.
So as much as they have a longer beach, it doesn't really compare to the amount of responsibility that we have," Jackson explained.
The sandy strip on Lake Huron has been reduced to about 60 per cent of its normal capacity because of high water levels.
Meanwhile, Jackson said they'll have bylaw and paid duty OPP officers patrolling Sauble Beach this weekend.