CLEAR LAKE, Iowa – 2020 will be drier than usual in Clear Lake no matter what Mother Nature does. The city’s Parks & Recreation Director and City Administrator have announced the Clear lake Aquatic Center will not open for 2020.
“The decision was incredibly difficult and one I agonized over greatly, but the Governor’s recent re-openings announcement does not enable the City to “fully” open the Aquatic Center,” says Parks & Rec Director Randy Miller.
Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced that swimming pools in Iowa could reopen on Friday but only lap swimming and swimming lessons.
“This decision was not made lightly, given the popularity of the Aquatic Center as a summertime activity; and it was made out of, not only an abundance of caution for public health, but also budgetary and staffing challenges,” says City Administrator Scott Flory. “Because of the significant fixed costs associated with preparing an Aquatic Center like ours to open, it would not be financially practical to offer a shortened season even if that remote possibility were to be in the cards.”
“Even if the Governor were to subsequently lift restrictions on “fully” opening the aquatic center, beyond just for lessons and lap swimming, it would require nearly 3 weeks to get the pool ready and at that point hiring adequate staff for the facility would be a challenge with a shortened pool season and anticipated social distancing requirements would likely greatly diminish capacity. There are simply far too many obstacles and uncertainties at this point,” adds Miller.
Anyone who purchased a 2020 season pass to the Aquatic Center will be contacted about receiving a refund or transferring that to the 2021 season.
“We held out as long as we could in making a decision (many other area communities have already announced they would not open for 2020) and we simply couldn’t delay any longer,” says Flory. “We have seasonal employees interested in working at the Aquatic Center and we just couldn’t ask them to defer other prospective employment opportunities and continue to wait to see if we would be able to “fully” open the Aquatic Center at some future date that has proven to be quite elusive.”