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Windsor residents to be given enrolment priority at city-run facilities

Windsor, Ont. residents will soon be given priority when it comes to enrolling into city-run programs at city-run facilities.

Starting January 2024, people residing in Windsor will get a 72 hour advanced preregistration period to sign up for programming, facility rentals or various activities at city recreation centres ahead of out-of-town users.

“This is great for Windsor residents,” said Ward 4 Coun. Mark McKenzie, who brought forward the notice of motion that received unanimous support from council colleagues at last Monday’s meeting.

“Windsor residents will get a 72 hour advanced pre-registration period, kind of like a skip the line pass, where Windsor residents will get priority to book for these programmings and facilities and ice rentals over non-Windsor residents."

Following the 72 hours, people living in municipalities outside of Windsor will have opportunity to apply if spots remain available.

McKenzie told CTV News Windsor it's too late to implement the change for fall registrations, but that things should be in place by the New Year, and suggesed Windsor residents will notice a considerable difference when it comes to popular ice times and swimming programs in the city.

“I've seen it myself,” McKenzie explained, and suggested it can be a fight to apply for programs.

A motion brought forward by Ward 4 Coun. Mark McKenzie will prioritize local residents for city-run programs at city-run facilities. (Chris Campbell/CTV News Windsor)He added, “My son is young, so he takes part in a lot of these activities at the local community centres. So then I'm talking to a lot of parents who are there as well and they’re like, ‘Oh I go I had to sit online when I'm hitting refresh for 20 minutes, trying to wait for this to open up,’ and if you're not online, if you're not ready to book within that first five or 10 minutes, sometimes you're not getting your child registered.”

McKenzie said measures will be in place to ensure advanced registration is going to Windsor residents, noting nearby communities have similar programs in place.

“A lot of the surrounding municipalities, at least some of them already have something like this in place, but you have to pay extra for it. And what I'm saying is well, no, we're not going to pay extra but we do need to make sure that we're prioritizing those Windsor residents.”

He said that surrounding municipalities have their own community centres and arenas with programming, and believes they should also be implementing their own prioritization for residents.

“We're saying, ‘Look, it's the Windsor taxpayers who are subsidizing the cost of these programs. So we should be prioritizing the Windsor residents,’” McKenzie explained.

He added, “It's still open to everybody after that 72 hours. So we're not saying that we don't want residents from LaSalle, Tecumseh, Lakeshore, Amherstburg to come Windsor and use our facilities and take part in our programming, but we do want to make sure that at least it's being offered to the Windsor residents first, and then it opens up to everybody else.” Top Stories

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