NEW HAVEN — The New Haven Municipal Swimming Pool opened Tuesday without pomp and circumstance, and also without any swimmers waiting in line.
A late announcement came at Monday night’s council meeting that the pool was ready to open, after being filled five times in five consecutive days. The pool was scheduled to open July 1 after having been postponed due to the town’s water upgrade project. But when the pool was filled the first few times, the water was brown due to ongoing water system problems.
Filled a final time on July 4, Councilman Matt Shell said at the meeting Monday that chemically, the pool is fine, although the water remains “dingy.” The town received the go-ahead from the health department, as well, and opened without any formal notice.
The pool will be open Monday through Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and on Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
Shell and Police Chief Dave Hardwick will be co-managers of the pool, and volunteered for the positions as a cost-saving measure. Four lifeguards were hired, including Abbie Lieving, Casey Greer, Amelia Johnson, and Mary Roush.
Shell said due to the rules and regulations issued surrounding COVID-19, swimmers will see some changes this year.
The pool will be limited to the first 50 people for now, but that number might fluctuate either way as the summer progresses, he added. Swimmers can be in the pool from noon to 2 p.m., at which time there will be a break to clean the pool and surrounding area. Those attending will then be allowed back into the water from 3 to 5 p.m.
Two lifeguards will be on duty at a time. Shell said he anticipates the pool to remain open until school starts, as well as some evenings after school begins, but that will depend on staffing. He noted since the lifeguards are teenage students, school, fall sports, and other activities might interfere with open hours.
There have been several upgrades to the pool area, including a new covered shelter, fresh paint, new concrete pad and walkway, and planted and potted flowers.
Recorder Roberta Hysell said several private parties have already been booked for the evenings. For pricing and available dates, the town hall can be called at 304-882-3203 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.
Party rentals and concession sales help keep the pool operating. A committee of local women solicit funding on a year-round basis, however, to allow for the free admission, as well as lifeguard salaries and other major expenses. Funding from the Robert and Louise Claflin Foundation provided for some of the pool upgrades and chemicals for the season.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at email@example.com.