COLUMBUS — This is the time of year that cities and towns in Indiana must make final plans for opening their public pools for the summer. Some a deciding not to. COVID-19 is to blame.
Thursday, it was Shelbyville. The Meridian Park Family Aquatic Center will stay closed this summer due to the pandemic.
Friday, Columbus announced its municipal pool, the Donner Aquatic Center, will also not open. The Columbus Parks and Recreation Board met Friday to make it official.
The city issued this statement on the reasons for the decision:
The significant restrictions that would have to be instituted for an opening include hour restrictions, frequent closures throughout the day to sanitize, the likely elimination of parties and swim lessons, and the severe limitations on guest attendance numbers. After careful deliberation, it was deemed that these restrictions would too greatly limit services and inconvenience the public; to a point that there would be no community benefit in opening. The high health risk for aquatics staff and complications regarding proper staff safety measures were also factors in this decision. In short, the decision to not open the facility in 2020 is necessary, inevitable, and unavoidable.
This decision was difficult and not made lightly. The safety of our staff and community is our top priority. We are deeply saddened by this decision, but we are confident that it is the right one.