Public Pools Facing Tough Decisions On Reopening

May 22, 2020

In the Miami Valley, swimming pools usually open on Memorial Day. But this year, communities with public pools have some tough decisions to make.

On Wednesday, Vandalia announced that it will not open its outdoor pool this summer.

The city says complying with coronavirus safety standards would be too expensive, and the Cassel Hills pool has been losing money for years.

Meanwhile, in Yellow Springs, some residents have signed a petition in hopes of stopping the village from opening its pool. They say it's too soon and too dangerous.

That pool has also been running at a deficit, but Village Manager Josue Salmeron says it's a necessary service, like parks and playgrounds, and will open in early June.

“It’s not just fun,” Salmeron says. “They are critical to the development of a mind, to the emotional and physical well-being of the individual.”

He says the pool is especially important for youth who have less resources, as they can take advantage of reduced rates, and that the sheriff’s office often sends young people to the pool in the summer as part of an intervention program.

When Ohio pools do open up, they’ll look different. Less people will be allowed in at the same time and cleaning will be constant.

In Yellow Springs, the pool will close every two hours so staff can completely clean the area. That means very different hours this year.

There will also be a lot of different rules for pool goers, from what can be brought to how many people will be allowed in any place at a time.

But for now, there will be swimming in some parts of the Miami Valley this summer.