By Cyndi Sellers
The Cameron Recreation District #6 Board on Monday defended their decision to keep their workout room open in spite of the Governor’s order closing all gyms. The question is moot now that the Governor has rescinded that rule, allowing gyms, hair salons and barbershops which were previously closed to re-open, with occupancy restrictions.
The board said they voted to keep their 24-hour workout room open and post “Exercise at your own Risk” signs. They said it is only common sense that people at high risk shouldn’t come to the gym. High risk categories include those over 65, obese, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and immune-compromised.
Gym member and Parish Coroner Dr. Kevin Dupke said the virus is deadly, and a cough or sneeze can project particles more than six feet away. These aerosol particles can remain in the air for three hours and infect others, he said. Persons using raised speaking voices, singing, or working out can send particles 27-30 feet in the air, which is from one end of the gym to the other.
He recommended wearing masks while exercising, unplugging the treadmills and cycles. Se said weight lifting spotters were especially at risk without a mask.
Board members said the basketball gymnasium is closed and has been throughout. The workout room is sprayed with disinfectant twice a day, and has only been used by four people a day at most though the stay-at-home order.
RV Park Issues
Greg Gachassin, developer of the 500 slot Cameron Park RV park next door to the Recreation Center addressed concerns about the gravel road that connects his park with the recreation center road, running behind the tennis court and playground. His company received permission during the winter to enlarge a service road and connect it to the RV park. He plans to add speed limit signs and speed bumps in the park and ”Slow, Children at Play” signs near the playground. He said he could add speed bumps near the playground also. Police Juror Scott Trahan suggested a fence around the playground to protect children from predators and traffic.
A problem has arisen with vehicles cutting across the grass to get to the parking lot, and the placement of iron barriers similar to those at Grand Chenier Park was proposed.
The one-lane beach access road is becoming very popular with RV park residents as well as locals. Plans are being made to replace the narrow culvert, which is washing out, with a longer one and add limestone. Vehicles, including large RVs have been accessing the beach on weekends across the narrow culvert.
The Recreation Center’s dumpster has been placed near the road to help visitors dispose of trash, but it is filling up with beach litter. A second dumpster would help, board members said, as would bag dispensers like the ones recently installed at Rutherford Beach. A group of beach walkers from the RV park has offered to help clean the beach if bags and receptacles are provided.
Traffic damage to the south levee caused by fishing and crabbing activity will be stopped. The Board plans to install a gate and “No Public Access” signs.
Board member Tammy Peshoff said increased use of the Rec by park residents is bringing more money into the center, which will be used to improve facilities and services for the public. “It is well worth it to have the beach access road,” she said.
The recreation center concession area is continuing to provide take-out meals five days a week. Plans are ongoing to provide a pavilion and benches near the playground and eventually to add a water park. FEMA PW money owed to the district, which would fund the water park, has been held up for years, board members said.