St. Marys Pool Will Not Open This Year

Staff Writer

St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan released a statement on Thursday stating that after much review and deliberation, city officials have decided that the St. Marys Family Aquatic Center will not open this year.

"We cannot comply with the mandatory requirements published by Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Department of Health," McGowan said in the statement. "Such requirements include social distancing of all patrons, both in and out of the water, no gathering in groups of different households, reduced maximum capacity to allow six-feet of distance between users, cleaning and disinfecting bathrooms and common areas every two hours and in some and after every use."

According to the release, a reduced capacity requirement would result in only having 51 patrons in both the pools combined at any given time. 

DeWine announced last week that pools around the state of Ohio can reopen as soon as Tuesday, but stressed that pools are not being forced to open, only that they may open as long as they follow safety protocols by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"One of our greatest concerns is adequate staffing," Director of Public Service and Safety Greg Foxhoven said in an interview with The Evening Leader earlier this week. "It takes eight lifeguards per shift to watch the pool, nine if we have the slide opened up, so we are diligently working to secure adequate staffing — as I am sure other communities are."

With the cancellation of the pool season, patrons who have already purchased a 2020 Family Aquatic Center season pass will receive a credit on their 2021 season pass or receive a prorated refund. Despite the pool remaining closed, it will not affect the opening of the splash pad.

McGowan added in his press release that if the governor's mandatory requirements change, such changes will be reviewed to determine if opening the pool is feasible.