Monona waiting to learn more before making pool opening decision

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

Lap swimming and swimming lessons are now allowed at Iowa pools per an order by Gov. Kim Reynolds, but the city of Monona is still waiting to see what, if any, other restrictions may be lifted after May 27 before making a decision to open the Monona Family Aquatic Center.

The pool board recently met and hoped the facility could open by June 3, said city administrator Barb Collins at the May 18 council meeting. That would allow one week to fill and “shock” the pool.

“If [restrictions are] pushed back, though,” she continued, “is it worth doing for a possible eight-week opening?”

The pool would have originally opened Memorial Day weekend. If school starts earlier this fall, that would shorten the season even more.

Collins said opening would likely include guidelines for spacing visitors, a task that may be difficult. Additional sanitizing would also be needed for chairs, and slides, diving boards and concession stands may not be permitted to open.

The pools at Postville and Lansing have announced they’ll be closed for the summer, but, as of the meeting, Waukon and Guttenberg had yet to make a decision, Collins said.

If Monona stays open while others close, the city’s aquatic center risks being bombarded by visitors from other towns, she acknowledged.

“We want to open, but we also have to look at the costs,” Collins told the council. 

Last year, in a good year, the pool cost the city $41,000. 

With a shorter window to operate, and the loss of potential funding sources, like the food stand, “we could potentially lose a lot more than we already do,” said councilman Preston Landt.

The council will discuss a potential opening more at its June 1 meeting.

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