Northview and City Park pools will open May 22, but CiCo Park Pool likely will not open this year, the Manhattan city government announced Monday morning.
Although city officials indicated they would like to open CiCo Park Pool this year, they said they won’t be able to prepare the pool in time.
“The city is facing staffing and infrastructure challenges in many departments, including the parks division technicians who are critical to opening and operating the pools’ water chemistry, pumps, filters and other components to ensure safe water multiple times a day,” said city manager Ron Fehr.
The announced closure is not a complete surpise. The Manhattan Parks and Recreation Department first said in January it may not open the CiCo pool this summer.
The city government must fill more than 125 staff positions before opening the Northview and City Park pools; the Splash Park will open May 22 as well.
People who want to work at the pools can apply online at cityofmhk.com.
Usually, staff spends more than 1,000 hours preparing for the summer pool season in the winter. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, staff members were unable to do this work, Fehr said.
The pools will operate on reduced attendance with enhanced health protocols and procedures this summer because of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said. The city has not announced these rules yet.
Earlier this month, mayor Wynn Butler said he wanted city administrators to find something other than pools to cut in 2021. He suggested temporarily closing the Flint Hills Discovery Center instead.
As of Monday, over 600 people signed an online petition started by a resident to keep all the pools open this summer.
“The pools that were paid for with our city tax dollars should be open for our children this summer,” the petition says.