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Parks and Rec getting started early on swimming pool prep

By James Grob,

Charles City Parks and Recreation Director Tyler Mitchell told the Parks and Rec board at Wednesday’s meeting that he was getting ahead of preparations for opening the swimming pool this year.

“Normally we don’t start this process until the middle of March, but we’re going to start looking for pool employees here in the next couple of weeks,” Mitchell said.

He said getting a head start is all the more important because the pool never opened last summer, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, which put up too many hurdles for the pool to overcome.

Those requirements potentially included requiring face masks, maintaining 6-foot social distancing in the pool and surrounding areas, hiring extra people to enforce the rules, hourly cleaning and disinfecting with products appropriate for use around pools, and limiting the number of people allowed in the pool at any time.

“Hopefully we’ll be up and running this year, though,” Mitchell said. “When we did all our checks through the summer and fall, everything was still working.”

Mitchell has said that 2020 pool passes that had been purchased will be accepted in 2021. He said Wednesday that the pool has been maintained, pumps are in working condition and cracks have been filled.

“We’ll be able to use our new patio chairs, our basketball hoops and our refurbished slide, so that will be nice,” Mitchell said. “It’s all looking good right now. We’ll know more once we fill the pool with water.”

Mitchell said the pool is still in search for a swim instructor for this summer, and he plans to start advertising soon for lifeguards, concession stand workers and other employees.

“We’re going to start advertising for that stuff sooner this year,” Mitchell said. “We want to avoid problems getting lifeguards, we need to recruit more.”

Sue Hofer is planning on coming back to be in charge of the pool, Mitchell said, and she has already started recruiting lifeguards.

“She has a decent number returning, and has recruited some new ones who still need to get their license,” he said.

Mitchell said that if they aren’t able to find people to operate the concession stand, they will look into acquiring vending machines.