The Portland city pool will not open this summer.
The decision was announced on the Portland Parks and Recreation Facebook page on June 1.
The announcement read as follows: “The city of Portland has made a decision to not open the city’s swimming pool for the 2020 season. Please know that this decision was not made lightly. The safety, health and well-being of our users and staff are of the utmost importance to us. We have been working hard to create a plan that would allow us to open the pool while implementing social-distancing guidelines and ensure patron safety, but after reviewing the governor’s guidelines, and taking note that the state park pools would not open, we felt it would be best to not open.”
The pool is typically open from approximately Memorial Day until early August, when public schools usually resume.
In addition to safety concerns, the cost to open the pool for a lessened period of time was a concern as well.
Portland Maor Mike Callis said during the May 18 city council meeting that by not opening the pool, the city would save $23,000 from the 2019-20 budget and $24,000 from the 2020-21 budget.
“The problem is that most all pools — like our’s — are a constrained space,” Callis said. “They have concerns for that. They also have concerns if there is an emergency, about a lifeguard giving mouth-to-mouth (resuscitation) to someone that is having difficulty at a pool.
“Then, the concern will be, based on the environment we are living in, a lot of people may not want to send their children to a public pool this year. That would drop our numbers down. That means we would have a bigger loss than normal. If we decided to make the call to not even open it, we kind of have an idea of the money that we could save. If we open it, we might have a bigger loss than anticipated.”
The city’s playgrounds currently remain closed, but those will open as soon as the state gives cities permission to do so.
On May 21, the Portland Dixie Youth baseball and softball organization — which plays its games at Richland Park — announced last Thursday on its Facebook page that it would be canceling its spring/summer season. The post read, “It’s with deep sadness that we are officially announcing the cancellation of the spring/summer season. We were hopeful that we would be able to have a great June/July season after waiting, but unfortunately, the restrictions that would be required in order to play would take too much away from the experience. We exhausted all options, but we don’t think the kids would enjoy the great game the way it should be enjoyed under the circumstances.”