Pools Plan Modified Opening

May 28, 2020, 5 p.m. ·


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A new directed health measure starting Monday will allow pools in most of Nebraska to open. But in a time when tax revenues are already suffering, pools will likely also take a financial hit from the capacity limitations.

The city of Lincoln usually operates nine pools in the summer. This year, they’ve taken that down to five. They’re also thinking carefully about how many people can safely use the pool at a time.

Lynn Johnson is director of Parks and Recreation in Lincoln. He said the safe number will be less than the 25% limit set by the state DHM.

“We looked at the number of people that could be in the shallow water areas of the pool at a six foot spacing, and then we reduced that number to 25% of that," Johnson said. "So for example a pool that would normally have a capacity of maybe 300, will have a capacity, at least initially, unless the DHMs change, of about 30 people.”

Pool visitors will be restricted to three hour and a half time blocks throughout the afternoon.

Johnson said as the city made decisions around the pools, they considered health and safety, but also the revenue pools bring in for the city.

“Certainly the pandemic has had an impact on sales tax receipt coming into the city and has reduced revenues," Johnso said. "And the modified operations are also gonna impact the amount of revenues we’ll be collecting through operation of the pools.”

Johnson said pool employees will also collect names and contact information for people who come to the pool for future contact tracing if necessary.