TROY — The Troy Aquatic Park got the green light to open its gates despite a list of challenges staff anticipates and amid public health regulations that will limit capacity and amenities this summer.
The Troy Recreation Board unanimously voted to open the pool with an understanding that if challenges became too much for staff to keep the park open, the board could reverse its decision and close the facility.
The target date to open is June 15 with an expected closing date of Aug. 16 prior to schools opening for the year.
Trpy Aquatic Park Director Carrie Slater said capacity would be capped at 190 patrons at any given time. Last summer, up to 450 people flocked to the pool on its hottest days. The department will refund the 130 season passes holders. Deck chairs and loungers will be limited and features such as slides may not be able to be used due to the restrictions mandated by the state’s health department. Slater noted concerns with crowd control and life-saving measures may become burdensome as the staff navigates its way through an unusual season. Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
City of Troy Recreation Department Director Ken Siler said he and Slater combed through a variety of challenges the TAP would face including cleaning and sanitation, social distancing and even scenarios regarding life guard-assisted rescues.
No swim classes or other gatherings would be offered. Slater also expressed concern with the lines of people waiting at the gates to enter; noting that on some hot days people line up at the gate as early as 9 a.m. to reserve certain areas for the day. Other challenges included patrons from other communities seeking pools because theirs closed for the year.
“It’s going to be a difficult summer for our staff,” Slater said.
Board member Doug Jackson made the motion to open the pool, with Tom Dunn seconding the motion. Dunn said those who were concerned for health reasons won’t attend the pool, but those seeking a recreation opportunity should be allowed to use the city’s amenity.
Mayor Robin Oda said she supported the staff whether the pool opened or not. She said the city will close the facility if challenges out weigh the opportunities for those who visit this summer.
“We will need the public’s help and understanding. We will not tolerate any abuse of staff and the facility,” Oda said following the meeting.
A request for how much the city estimates to spend to open the facility was not available as of press time.
The Center for Disease Control said there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools, hot tubs or spas or water playgrounds. Proper operation, maintenance and disinfection with chlorine and bromine, of pools, hot tubs or spas and water playgrounds should inactivate the virus.
The city of Vandalia announced on Wednesday it would keep its public pool closed for the season due to the state restrictions. The city of Piqua announced it wouldn’t open its pool for the season earlier this spring due to its $3 million in needed repairs announced in November. Tipp City is expected to make its decision this week. Huber Heights also plans to open after Memorial Day.
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