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Covington Plans for Return of City Swimming Pools this Summer

The City of Covington is hoping to reopen its swimming pools this summer following last year's decision to keep them closed for the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the coronavirus is still plaguing the local community, like much of the world, trends related to it are looking better, with decreased daily case counts in recent weeks, and more people being vaccinated against the disease.

The city's recreation department is also planning to bring back and introduce other seasonal activities.

“We want to make sure we’re delivering fun in a safe way,” said Jess Link, Covington's recreation program coordinator. “We want to keep it fresh, perhaps find some new approaches to some old favorites.”

Parks & Recreation Manager Ben Oldiges said the department would remain nimble and flexible as it continues to monitor safety protocols, but “for now we’re planning a full calendar in two-month increments.”

“One year of shutdown was a tough ask, two would be impossible to bear,” Oldiges said of the city's pools.

Tuesday night, Oldiges presented a proposed management contract with SwimSafe Pool Management Inc. for the 2021 and 2022 swim seasons to the city commission that would handle everything from the hiring of lifeguards to chemicals, liability insurance, and operational repairs and maintenance. After a brief discussion, the commission put the contract on its consent agenda to be approved next Tuesday, signaling that there was no need for further discussion.

Covington has three water facilities: full-sized pools at Goebel Park in MainStrasse Village and Randolph Park in the Eastside, and the Latonia Water Park/Splash Pad at the Bill Cappel Youth Sports Complex.

They are scheduled to be open June 6 through August 2 and will be using safety protocols related to COVID-19. “We’ll be monitoring it closely,” Oldiges said.

Information about pool passes and summer hiring will come later, the city said. Pool-related activities will likely include swim lessons, aerobics, and exercise classes.

Additionally, the parks and recreation department plans to introduce an outdoor movie series this summer.

Details are being worked out, but the tentative schedule is:

  • Friday, June 25th, at the Bandshell in Devou Park.
  • Friday, July 30th, at the baseball field in Randolph Park.
  • Friday, Aug. 27th, at the field in Austinburg Neighborhood Park.

Covered picnic shelters at various parks and playgrounds are available to rent online here. Playgrounds and restrooms will be open, unless the governor’s office and the health department orders them closed again.

Once the school year comes to a close this spring, Parks & Rec will begin its Friday afternoon free activity kit drop-offs.

Families can sign up during the week to receive themed little kits that enable fun activities. Last year those included Frisbees, jump ropes, bird-watching kits, footballs, and crafts.

“We delivered well over 1,000 kits, and we received in return a lot of photographs of kids having fun with them,” Link said.

They said Parks & Rec will publicize its summer programming in two-month increments, rather than a whole year at a time, to enable it to change plans as needed.

-Staff report

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