The Chatfield City Council discussed the uncertainty associated with the hoped for opening of the swimming pool at their May 11 meeting held via WebEx.
Brian Burkholder, Public Works, and Ryan Priebe, Water superindendent, have been in contact with Olmsted County Public Health. They are waiting for guidelines from Governor Walz. Burkholder said we will have to follow rules and regulations for disinfecting.
Mayor Russ Smith was in favor of moving forward to get the pool ready, as if they will be able to open. Councilor Mike Urban maintained the pool needs to be operational per contract with Ricchio, Inc. for warranty work. Priebe noted that Ricchio will extend the warranty for a year if we are not able to start up because of an executive order.
Councilor Josh Broadwater expects the opening to be delayed, but still feels the city should be ready to move forward with an opening. Burkholder explained we will need disinfecting equipment and will have to determine how to move traffic through to meet distancing rules. Councilors all seemed to be in favor of getting the pool ready to open.
Burkholder said a lot of the rules and regulations will come from Olmsted County Public Health. Councilor Paul Novotny noted many of the swimming pool guards expect this to be their summer job. Smith said they should be advised that their work will be contingent on the pool being open. Staffing should be at regular levels if the pool opens, even if there is limited occupancy. Novotny suggested some of the guards might want to have a guaranteed job; the opening of the pool is out of our control. Broadwater commented, “We should be fully transparent with the guards about this.”
City Clerk Joel Young said the next council meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 26. We can look at information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and their recommendation for swimming pools. Burkholder added that the CDC has five pages of rules and regulations. We will need to procure signs explaining CDC rules.
Burkholder noted the bathhouse is scheduled to be unwinterized this next Monday. It was suggested that the unwinterizing of the bathhouse be delayed. Burkholder said we will wait until Monday to get guidance from the governor. If there is not guidance, we will fill the pool the following week. Priebe noted that the license for operation comes from Olmsted County Public Health.
Other business in brief
• Bluff Country Hiking Club had requested $2,000 for annual costs associated with the Lost Creek Hiking Trail. Last year’s appropriation to the club was used for advertisement, liability insurance, brochure printing, web page, temporary summer hire, and half the cost of a DR Trimmer. The request was approved.
• Young reported that there have been discussions on how to prepare to open the Thurber Building to the public. This includes ways to keep the public and city employees safe, for example the use of sneeze guards at the counter.