(Posted June 8, 2020)
By Andrew Garrett, Staff Writer
The London Municipal Pool is set to open this summer, but residents looking to cool off will find new rules in place.
The opening date is July 1. The new rules will be posted on the city website, www.londonohio.gov, prior to that date.
The pool’s operating days and hours have changed. The pool will be open Wednesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. Closing day is Aug. 16.
The main pool, new splash pad, and diving well will be open. The lap/racing pool will not be open, but adults will still get the main pool and diving well to themselves during 15-minute breaks every hour.
“If we do open and have to make changes, people may have to be patient,” said city council member Bryan Robinson. “Right now, this is the tentative plan.”
London’s pool typically opens on Memorial Day but, much like cities across the state, officials had to wait to hear from Gov. Mike DeWine on changes due to COVID-19. DeWine officially announced that pools could open on May 26 and provided a list of changes municipalities would have to make.
With the July 1 date set, London city workers have started to fill the pool which, Robinson said, takes 10 days. The July 1 date gives the city time to fill and treat the pool with chemicals while also familiarizing the public with the new rules.
Pool goers will be asked COVID-19 health related questions at the front desk, as well as asked to leave their names as they come in. They must wear a mask when they enter the building and when they are in the restrooms. They will need to bring their own items, such as chairs, as the pool will not be providing them.
The pool will open at 50 percent capacity (80 people) and, because of this, season passes will not be offered. Instead, a flat $5 daily admission rate will be charged.
“If someone came with a season pass and couldn’t enter due to capacity, that would violate what the season pool pass gets you,” said Mayor Patrick Closser about the decision not to offer season passes. “And if for some reason the state closes pools back down, we would not want citizens out money for already purchasing season passes.”
Closser said the city is looking at the possibility of offering a discounted multi-day punch card.
“This is where you could buy 10 or 20 daily passes at once at a discounted rate. You could use the passes for yourself and others from your household that enters with you,” he explained.
Closser also noted that the pool will not offer swim lessons due to staffing, the shortened season, and social distancing requirements. Additionally, the pool will not offer water aerobics due to the lap/racing pool being closed and the shortened season.
Carrying out the new rules and regulations will require more of a staff presence, Robinson said, and that, combined with limited concessions and lower capacity, could have an impact on the pool’s finances.
London council president, Henry Comer, said the plan is to break even, but the decision to open the pool is more for the residents.
“The focus more is to be able to provide the service to the public this summer,” he said.
Robinson said everything regarding the pool’s operation this summer is subject to change but, for now, this is the city’s plan.
“We should have more information and the rules listed on the website very shortly,” he said.
The London Municipal Pool is located at 205 Park Ave. The office phone number is (740) 852-9051.
Closser posted the following pool rules to his Facebook page on June 4. They are subject to change.
Rules entering the facility
- There will be zero tolerance for inappropriate language or negative attitudes.
- If you do not feel well, stay home.
- If you have been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 in the past 21 days, do not come to our facility.
- You must wear a face mask when entering our building.
- Anyone over 16 years of age must show a picture identification upon entrance to our facility.
- Kids under the age of 14 years must be accompanied by an adult or babysitter over the age of 16.
- You will write your name, address and phone number when signing in at our facility.
- Bring your own seating because the pool will not be providing chairs.
- You must answer COVID-19 related health questions when entering the facility.
- There will be no free admittance or discounts to the pool. Everybody must pay $5, and there will be no season pool passes.
Once you have entered the facility
- You must maintain social distancing and stay six feet apart.
- Do not gather with anybody from different households. Only congregate with the members of the household that you entered with.
- Do not stand, sit or block walkways or narrow passages.
- You must wear a face mask when entering the restrooms.
- All children under the age of 6 using the splash pad must be accompanied by an adult.
- Do not gather in groups of more than 10.
- Wash hands often and use the sanitation stations when needed.
- Observe rules of the facility and each pool.
- When waiting in line, look for flags, cones and other markers to assist in maintaining social distances.
- Do not share goggles, towels or toys.
- Wear a mask when social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Showers will be closed.