Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Masks required for Sparta winter rec programs

At least until Nov. 21, when mandate is scheduled to end

While the Sparta Park Board voted 3-4 to allow the city’s winter recreation programs to commence with the wearing of protective face mask optional, that likely won’t happen at least until Nov. 21.

Co-City Administrators Todd Fahning and Mark Sund have indicated they will enforce the wearing of face masks in all city facilities as long as Gov. Tony Evers’ mandate requiring face masks in indoors facilities is in effect.

“That’s the mandate from the state government and we are a municipal government and we are bound to follow those rules,” said Fahning.

That mandate is scheduled to end Nov. 21, but it’s possible it will be extended given the surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. If that isn’t the case, the programs can be run mask optional.

The Parks & Rec Department conducted a survey of parents whose children are interested in participating in winter sports programs, which include wrestling, basketball, gymnastics and volleyball.

Of the 97 responses, 84.5% said they would let their kids participate in the programs if Monroe County was still experiencing a high rate of COVID cases in November. Another 62.9% of those respondents said they would prefer that masks be optional, while 60.8% said they would let their children participate in early afternoon programs if the schools were conducting classes virtually.

Adult fitness classes have begun and are being run in person at the city’s fitness center. Participants are required to wear face masks and social distance. Numbers are limited due to social distancing and the facility is being cleaned between sessions.

In other business, the board heard recommendations from the River Run Golf Course Blue Ribbon Advisory Committee. Among the recommendations is to hire a part-time course ranger to work weekends and to cut down the large oak tree in the number-6 fairway.

A suggestion to give golf course employees free golf memberships was dead on arrival. According to Fahning, that would constitute a bonus, which the city cannot give out.


Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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