Honeywell Pool to remain closed this summer

By Joseph Slacian

The Honeywell Pool will not open this summer.

The Wabash Park Board voted 4-2 on Wednesday, May 13, to keep the pool closed due to safety concerns brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The board, during a lengthy discussion, heard several options to open the pool. However, each had their pluses and minues.
If the pool were to have opened, it wouldn’t be until July 4, when the fifth step of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s five-step plan to re-open Indiana, would take effect.

Doing that would have meant the pool would have been opened for just about one month. Board members wondered it it was worth the expense of chemicals and other needed supplies to keep the pool open for such a short time.

The late opening, Park Superintendent Adam Hall said, would significantly cut into the attendance figures this year.

Another option was to enforce social distancing, meaning that less than. 70 people would have been allowed in the pool at one time.

Yet another option would have been to keep the pool open for 90 minute incriments  then requiring everyone to leave so crews could clean and sanitize the facility.

Mayor Scott Long, who attended the ZOOM meeting with other city officials, said he was concerned the city would take a financial hit tied to COVID-19, due to the number of local residents being unemployed.

By keeping the pool closed, he and  Hall noted, money budgeted for the pool could be used elsewhere in the city.

In addition, Hall added, those hired to work as lifeguards this summer could be used elsewhere in the park system to help sanitize and clean other park facilities.

Long also said he was concerned that the teenage help at the pool could face the wrath of adults, upset if their youngsters weren’t allowed in the pool because the capacity limit had been reached.

Some board members expressed concern that closing the pool would have some public members thinking it was governing out of fear.

Board member Kerri Mattern said that wasn’t the case. She said she was concerned with the safety of all those who might have visited the pool this summer.

Since the pool is not opening, some board members encouraged Hall to help develop other programs which the public, especially the youngsters, could take advantage of.

Board members reflected on when they were young, the city offered various things at the park, such as crafts and sport activities such as table tennis.

No decision on new offerings were made.


Posted on 2020 May 19