MONROE — The Monroe Common Council approved the Parks and Recreation Board’s request to open the municipal swimming pool June 13, albeit with limitations. The pool typically opens after Memorial Day, but the COVID-19 pandemic altered those plans.
The parks and rec department used guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to make revisions to ensure the safety of patrons and employees.
Each day there will be three swimming sessions, but patrons can only attend one per day. The times are 1 to 2:45 p.m., 3 to 4:45 p.m., and 6:30 to 8 p.m., or 6 to 7:30 p.m. on weekends. Admission fees have also been adjusted.
“Season pass holders and daily admission participants will need to sign up for one of the time slots if they wish to swim during these times,” said Marge Klinzing, Parks and Recreation director. Signup to use the pool is free, but daily admission users will have to pay at the door. The department will post a daily “Sign Up Genius” link on its Facebook page every day and encourages patrons to either use the online tool or call the pool. Season passes will also continue to be sold.
The pool will limit attendance at each session to 92 swimmers in the Olympic sized pool, and 15 in the children’s wading pool, down from 977 total capacity. In 2019, the average attendance was around 300 people per day. Patrons can only sign up to use one of the two pools.
“Adults will not be allowed to watch a child in both areas and move from one area to the other,” Klinzing said.
Other changes include:
● Patrons will enter the bathhouse but will leave through the north gate with wet swimsuits.
● No lockers will be available, so all items will be out on the deck.
● Families may bring their own small water toys. No rafts will be allowed on weekends.
● Children under age 10 will need to be accompanied by an adult or babysitter at all times.
● No deck chairs will be allowed, but guests can bring their own folding chair for the pool deck.
● Without the Monroe Area Swim Team season being held this summer, the concession stand will also be closed, as well as water fountains. No food will be allowed on the deck, though patrons are encouraged to bring a water bottle.
Swimming times for lap swimmers, families with special needs children and immune suppressed swimmers will be from 12 to 12:50 p.m. and 5 to 5:50 p.m. each day. Swimming lessons and Master’s Swim Class will take place in the morning and during lunch hours.
Monticello opted to close its municipal pool. The Brodhead City Council is set to discuss summer youth activities and the pool at its meeting June 8.
Darlington opted to keep its pool closed following a city council meeting June 2. The council acted upon recommendations by the Wisconsin Department of Health, the Lafayette County Health Department and the CDC. T-ball, coach pitch baseball and the third and fourth grade softball programs were also canceled.
Darlington’s Wellness Center and gym will be closed through the month of June, with a decision in July pending. All park restrooms are open, and shelters will be available for rent beginning June 8. Playgrounds are also open, but are not regularly sanitized.
Blanchardville’s outdoor swimming pool at McKellar Park is closed for the 2020 summer “due to repairs required by the State of Wisconsin,” the village posted on its website. Camping at Ryan Park is also restricted, with no tents and RVs must maintain appropriate social distancing. All shelters in the city are also closed.
The Pecatonica Booster Club in Blanchardville also canceled its 2020 community league baseball season.
The New Glarus Village Board met June 2 to discuss its activities, but voted to postpone a vote until June 16.
“They basically punted,” said Chris Rear of the New Glarus parks and recreation department, who was upset with the meeting.
Rear said the plan for little league baseball and softball was “very, very similar” to Monroe’s plan that passed its city council June 3. He said the swimming pool was also making plans to open with limited capacity and hours, with regular sanitation, but that the village board would need to approve changes.
Instead of meeting June 16, a special New Glarus Village Board meeting was called for June 5 to discuss and vote on whether to close pool and the youth programs for the summer.