Prospect planning cautious approach to reopen town buildings

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By Elio Gugliotti, Editor

PROSPECT — Town buildings will reopen to the public on a limited basis starting May 3.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said officials are taking a cautious approach to reopening buildings. He said people must still maintain social distance and wear masks when in town buildings, most of which will close at 4 p.m.

Chatfield said officials could close buildings again, if the town’s COVID-19 numbers spike.

“Everybody’s going to have to be COVID cautious,” he said.

Chatfield said board and commission meetings will remain virtual for the time being.

Chatfield said there will be different limitations in place at each building. At Town Hall, for example, he said there will be plexiglass at office doors and only one person will be allowed in the vault in the town clerk’s office at a time.

Prospect Public Library will open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Library Director John Wiehn said people will have to wear masks in the library, which will have masks available for patrons if they don’t have one.

Wiehn said the bathrooms will be open, but patrons won’t be able to use the water fountains. The computer room will be limited to two people at a time, and people must make an appointment to use a computer.

Wiehn said the library will host all events outside, weather-permitting.

“We’ll play it by ear and see how it goes,” he said.

Recreation Director Christopher Moffo said the Prospect Community Center will reopen slowly with limited programs at first. People will be required to register for programs.

“We’re going to ease into it,” Moffo said.

Moffo said programs at the center will be expanded if everything goes well. The town is planning, as of now, to hold summer camps and the summer concert series, he said.

Prospect Senior Center Director Lucy Smegielski said she’s planning a “soft opening.” Exercise classes will be held outside, and indoor activities with smaller groups, like art, quilting and drawing classes, will resume, she said.

Members have already started playing bocce again outside.

Smegielski said activities with larger groups, like card playing, won’t be allowed back in at first. She’s hopeful that larger activities can resume in the center when the state plans to lift all business restrictions on May 19.

Smegielski said she’s spoken with senior center members who are all eager to resume activities at the center.

“They’re all dying to come back,” she said.