Coronavirus: More local pools are deciding to close for the 2020 season

Coronavirus: More local pools are deciding to close for the 2020 season

MIAMI VALLEY — Gaunt Park Pool in Yellow Springs is the only pool in Greene County -- and there's an online petition to keep it closed for the summer.

"We're listening to these concerns and there is a possibility we may end up closing the pool," Josue Salmeron said.

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Wilson Park Pool in West Carrollton and Cassel Hills Pool in Vandalia, too, are joining other local pools that will remain closed through the 2020 season. Kettering's pools and recreation centers will remain closed until further notice.

Gaunt Pool Park has already seen changes. Window barriers are in place for employees and patrons can come in for a two hour only swim.

The pool is only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday and there are no annual passes. Swimming fees reflect the two hour swim times.

Pools across the state face new guidelines that would greatly alter their normal operation were they to open. Social distancing guidelines, in order to be maintained, would lower the maximum number of occupants while requiring a larger staff be present to enforce distancing.

Wilson Park's maximum occupation number is 300 patrons and would lower to 69.

Standards of sanitation, too, would alter the way pools regularly operate and would also require a larger staff.

The new guidelines would require an increase in the general operating costs of the pool, something both the City of Vandalia and West Carrollton say is not possible.

The City of West Carrollton subsidizes 36 percent of the pool costs to keep rates affordable for patrons and would not be able to stay within the city's budgeted subsidy based on the new guidelines.

For the past several years the Wilson Park Pool has operated at a deficit, with the city subsidizing the operation. In the last two years the pool's deficit was in the $90,000 range -- with no attendance or staffing guidelines in place.

Local cities understand that many look forward to the re-opening of their pool in the summer months, but for many this year it isn’t feasible.