Due to health and safety concerns, the City Pool and Waterpark will remain closed this summer. This was a difficult decision and one that was not made lightly. This decision was made in consultation with staff, health professionals, and a thorough review of the Governor’s guidelines regarding the opening of pools. The Parks and Recreation staff has been reviewing the CDC Guidelines for Pools since April and the final guidelines from the State of Ohio that were released last weekend. Several plans were considered that attempted to keep the Pool and Waterpark open on a limited basis; unfortunately, each plan ultimately demonstrated that the best decision for the community was for the facility to remain closed through 2020.
The health and well-being of our community and staff is at the heart of this decision. While I have been made aware of and understand that the virus may not be transmitted through the water, there were numerous points of analysis that factored into this decision. Under the State’s guidelines, the number of people allowed to enter the facility and the pool areas would be dramatically decreased in order to achieve the proper level of social distancing. Movement in the water and around the pool deck would be dramatically curtailed. Furthermore, we could not meet the State’s guidelines for the proper distancing of staff throughout the facility. There were numerous other considerations and issues related to staff and visitor safety relating to water safety.
The opening of the pool would also have caused a significant financial impact on the City considering the capacity, safety, and other guidelines. A financial analysis estimated losses at over $100,000 if the facility were to open. While the financial implications are one important determining factor in this decision, let me stress once again that the health and safety of our staff and citizens is foremost in this decision.
This is a very painful decision to make as I recognize that the City Pool and Waterpark is one of the many reasons that BG is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Unfortunately, the risks associated with opening the pool are not acceptable during this pandemic. I look forward to hopefully being able to reopen next summer and appreciate your understanding.