Public pool to reopen June 15

The pool is being filled with water

There’s no blue like that chlorine infused water of the public pool. It represents hours of summer fun for any water loving kid. The good news for Swain County children this summer is the county outdoor pool will reopen on Monday, June 15, but the bad news is there will be limits put in place in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.

County Manager Kevin King explained the details to the Swain County commissioners on Thursday, May 28.

“We’re working with the Centers for Disease Control and state guidelines on social distancing,” he said.

The pool has a capacity for 100, so for now, that capacity will be kept to 50. Plus, the time people can spend at the pool will be reduced to 3 hours. With that in mind, the board unanimously agreed to set new rates for this summer at $2 per person. There will be no season passes available this year either.

“We’re charging less because they are getting to stay less time,” pointed out commissioner Roger Parsons.

The current rates and regulations will go through June 29, when the board can revisit them.

Commissioner Kenneth Parton asked how Swain Day Camp would be impacted. King said the plan is that Day Camp students will have the pool for two hours on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays.

“The Day Camp plan is to have minimal trips with the bus. Most meals will be taken to the rec park for them to eat,” King said. “We will open up the playground for Day Camp kids only, they will go to the indoor rec facility, and they will have 2 hours three days a week at the pool without the public there.”

This will be the 42nd season for the Swain County rec park pool. Rec Park Supervisor Jim Brown agreed that 2020 will be unlike any previous season. The staff is doing everything to follow all the guidelines set out by the CDC.

“We are following all the protocols,” Brown said.

There’s been more activity at the rec park overall in the past few weeks. The ball fields have reopened and the walking trail has been very popular. Recently, county staff repaired a few areas of the trail where a section had washed away. The rec center, playgrounds and pavilion remain closed and will likely reopen with the state enters Phase 3 of lifting social distancing restrictions.