NEW HAVEN — Swimming season is in full swing, and for the second year in a row, swimmers can take advantage of the New Haven Municipal Swimming Pool for free the entire summer.
The pool opened Saturday. Thanks to the hard work by committee members, and the generosity of local businesses, organizations and individuals, the goal of raising $10,000 was met and exceeded that will continue the free admission.
The pool is open Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. It is also available to rent for private parties after 6 p.m. The cost is $40 per hour, with a two-hour minimum. Parties must be scheduled through the town hall.
According to Mayor Greg Kaylor, the pool has been freshly painted, and new ladders were installed for entering and exiting. The City of Point Pleasant donated a hydraulic handicap lift, from the former Harmon Park Pool, that will soon be installed as well, he said.
Chemicals were purchased for the season with a $7,000 grant from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation. Grant funds from the foundation were also used for the pool painting.
Mason County Commissioner Rick Handley and his wife, Attorney Tanya Handley, donated an automated external defibrillator (AED) that was necessary for the pool’s opening. The AED will be used for the adjacent community building when swim season is over.
The money raised through the efforts of the committee members will be used mainly to cover the salaries of the lifeguards. The number of guards had to be increased this year due to the rise in attendance last year, after the free admission began. Lifeguards include Nolan Pierce, head guard, Avery and Noah Davis, Mary Grace Roush, Abbie Lieving, Adam Groves, Zack Roush and Casey Greer.
Prior to the 2018 swim season, there had been talk among the town administrators to possibly close the pool. The average attendance at that time was 14 people per day, even though the admission rate had dropped as low as two dollars. With free admission, last year’s attendance rose to an average of 65 a day, sometimes with as many as 100.
Committee members include Phyllis Arthur, Alice Humphreys, Cathy Zerkle, Lisa Crump, Lisa Honaker, and Becky Benson. Recreation director is Matt Shell.
A permanent bank account, exclusively for the pool, was recently opened by the town at City National Bank in New Haven. People can continue to make donations throughout the year to keep the pool accessible to all for free.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.