On Friday, Chesapeake Beach officials announced the town’s water park is finally ready to open for the season. “We can’t wait to see you July 1,” water park general manager Marilyn VanWagner stated in a press release. “Providing a safe environment and enjoyable guest experience for you, your guests, is our top priority.”
The previous evening, the mayor and town council held their June meeting virtually and passed a resolution imposing “temporary capacity restrictions” for both the water park and Bayfront Park, better known as Brownies Beach.
Both the delayed seasonal openings and capacity restriction — as well as the virtual meeting — were prompted by the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“Please don’t let your guard down,” Mayor Pat “Irish” Mahoney warned residents during his report at the Thursday session.
The resolution, first amended, and then passed by the six-member council, opens the water park for town and Calvert County residents and their guests. The measure calls for the beach to be open to town residents only and their guests. Brownies Beach will also be open under the restrictions July 1.
In a press release, Mahoney noted the water park and Bayfront Park provide jobs to local youth and “have consistently served as an outreach of employment training bringing close to 300 employment positions to town and county residents. It’s important to maintain employment opportunities.”
In amending the resolution to allow for town residents and their guests at the beach, Mahoney said, “it’s a small beach” but added the ability to bring guests to Bayfront Park has “never been abused.”
Councilman Keith L. Pardieck said hopefully that giving the town residents permission to bring guests to the beach will “avoid an awkward incident.”
“We are expecting a daily loss [of revenue],” said town administrator Holly Wahl of the water park’s operation with the restrictions in place.
Councilman Greg Morris noted that with the coronavirus still a major worry, he was not concerned about the two summertime recreational facilities losing money.
“I’m definitely on board with the notion of going slow and steady,” Councilman Charles Fink added.
Proclamation supports equality
The council unanimously approved a proclamation supporting social equality. The measure states that both the mayor and town council proclaim “our intention to listen, to learn, to be willing to experience discomfort, to collaborate with community partners and to protect the constitutional and human rights of every person who lives [in], works [in] and visits our town.”
The proclamation stated that the town “supports the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office and the Twin Beach deputies in their efforts to continue to improve upon their community policing strategy providing a fair and transparent response in the town.”
The proclamation took effect immediately.
“I look forward to the proclamation implementation,” said Councilwoman/Vice President Valerie Beaudin.
U.S. Census Bureau representative Lee Osberry announced during public comment that Chesapeake Beach has already surpassed its participation percentage of 2010.
“As of June 11, Chesapeake Beach’s self-response rate is higher than the national response rate, the state’s response rate, and we are still leading Calvert County’s response rate,” Wahl stated in her monthly report.
Wahl reminds town residents to keep the census confirmation received for submitting 2020 forms for a chance to win prizes.