BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Fort Madison city officials have closed all parks, playgrounds and campgrounds effective immediately, while school officials have said all district facilities will be closed beginning tomorrow morning.
The move comes on the heels of Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds expanded emergency declaration to include playgrounds and campgrounds in the state.
Shortly after the expansion of the emergency declaration was announced, Fort Madison City Clerk Melinda Blind sent an email to Pen City Current advising that the city’s was moving in the same direction.
“In the continued effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus and abide by the Governor’s list of closures, the Fort Madison Parks & Recreation Department will be closing all parks, playgrounds and campgrounds effective immediately until further notice. Public restrooms within City parks and all drinking fountains will remain out of service at this time,” Blind wrote.
“All shelter rentals scheduled prior to Thursday, April 30th, will be postponed. Renters will be contacted by the Parks & Recreation Department to determine available dates for rescheduling purposes.
Then Monday evening at about 5:50 p.m., Fort Madison School District Activities Director Jeremy Swink announced that the district was also closing all facilities and school park equipment starting Tuesday morning.
“The school will fall in line with the governor and the city of Fort Madison’s recommendations to close parks. This includes our outdoor facilities: track, outdoor fields, tennis courts and playground equipment,” he wrote.
He said all facilities will be locked down until further notice.
“I am torn by this as I love seeing our students and community stay active during this tough time, but it would be irresponsible for the school to not follow the recommendations from our governor and city officials,”Swink wrote.
“I anticipate some unhappy community members, but I want to remind everyone that the Fort Madison Community School District has the best interest of our students and community members at heart. During these tough times, we as a community need to come together now more than ever. Thank you for your support and cooperation.”