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Outdoor pool sees consistent use in past month

But attendance numbers have not topped the social distancing restrictions

— Daily Freeman-Journal file photo The average daily census for the Webster City Municipal Swimming Pool has been hovering around 71, according to Larry Flaws, director of recreation and public grounds. He reported on the attendance numbers Monday night during the Webster City City Council meeting.

The summer season has been a successful on for the Webster City Outdoor Pool, even though the attendance numbers are down from previous years, according to Larry Flaws, director of recreation and public grounds for the city.

He gave an update Monday night during the City Council meeting.

A total of 1,491 people have used the pool in the almost four weeks it has been open. There is an average daily census of 71 swimmers for June 23 through July 13, Flaws told the council.

The pool opened on June 23 following a vote by the council on whether to open for the season in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The City put in place additional sanitation stations around the pool and also divided the afternoon schedule with sanitation breaks. The diving board and water slide are closed and all deck chairs have been removed. A cap of 108 swimmers was set for each swim session.

“We haven’t hit that 108 quota yet,” Flaws told the council.

“After going through this, the numbers aren’t quite as good as they could be,” he said. “But that’s OK, we still have people who use (the pool) and people are happy.”

The pool is open daily, with mornings devoted to one-to-one swim lessons and later lap swimming. Open swimming begins at 1:30 p.m. after staff members have had a chance to sanitize areas. Currently, there is a second session of swimming from 4:30 to 7 p.m. But due to low attendance in the second session, Flaws said he was thinking about just having one session that extended from 1:30 to 7 p.m.

“I’m thinking that we’ll just go with one session like we normally have in past years, and just eliminate the second session,” he said.

There have been a five instances with COVID-19, Flaws reported, all related to staff. The pool closed for one day last week when they City was made aware of a reported positive case of COVID-19. The staff disinfected the facility according to the Centers for Disease Control guidelines and it reopened the following day.

The council gave Flaws the authority by consensus to eliminate the second session and return to the 1:30 to 7 p.m. schedule if he believes that is the best route.

Playground equipment

The City Council also approved a motion to purchase playground and fitness equipment for East Twin Park as part of the improvements planned there.

The council authorized the purchase of the equipment, along professional installation with a poured rubber surface at a cost not to exceed $259,817, which is the estimated cost.

Community Vitality Director Lindsay Henderson said the city has been working with Boland Recreation to determine what types of equipment would fit into the allotted space.

“We’re fairly settled on what we’re looking for on the playground equipment,” she said. It will be geared towards children ages 5 to 12 and will feature agility pieces.

“You’ll see more climbing and balance components,” she said.

The area will also feature accessible swings, like those installed at Lions Stafford Park. The equipment will all be placed on a poured rubber surface.

“We think this will look very attractive and provide a variety of play options,” Henderson said.

The fitness equipment will also feature accessible stations.

The city was awarded a matching funds grant earlier this year from Wellmark Foundation that will help offset the costs of improvements.

Donations are also being accepted through the Enhance Hamilton County Foundation to help meet the cash match requirement. Fifty percent of the match can be in-kind donations.Outdoor pool sees consistent use in past month

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