Hello 2019 and 2020 Heather Pool Members and Stockholders!
I am writing with some exciting news: We are opening the pool!!
With the somewhat head spinning announcements this Monday (i.e., executive order 2020-110), outdoor swimming pools in Michigan are now allowed to open on Monday, June 8. As we have been proceeding with pool opening preparations under the hope that we would be able to open, we have the pool filled and ready to go, our water sample and paperwork has been submitted to the Kent County Health Department, and although we are still awaiting final clearance we are very hopeful that we’ll be able to open on Monday! We can’t wait to kick off the summer with some semblance of normality!
We do still have memberships available, so if you’ve been delaying signing up while waiting for more clarity, now is the time! https://www.heatherdownspool.com/membership-registration-form is the direct link.
Our Pool Manager this year is Lexi Willison; she has worked at the pool since 2014, including as Manager during the 2018 season, and knows the pool operations inside and out. The Assistant Manager this year is Joe Klug; who will also be a familiar face to many as he’s been with us since 2017. We’re very excited to have them both onboard, as well as many other both new and returning lifeguards. Please look out for more updates from the staff as we begin the season.
After that burst of initial excitement, here comes the fine print. I know this email is long, but please bear with me.
The pool season is not going to look the same this year as a normal year. We had a meeting with the Board and senior staff on Tuesday to hash out a lot of the details, weighing regulations in executive orders, guidance from the CDC and Kent County Health Department, our own knowledge of our facility and members, and trying to come up with a plan that will allow us to enjoy the pool this summer while still complying with applicable rules and keeping everybody as safe as we can.
Here are some of the most significant differences:
We will be operating at 50% capacity, as mandated in order 2020-110. In our case that means that we will cap attendance at 50 people at any given time.
Everybody will be required to check in and check out with a guard at the concession stand, so that we can make sure we do not exceed capacity and so that we have an accurate record that can be used for contact tracing, in case there is a positive case among members or staff.
We have decided to extend the pool hours to help alleviate potential crowding issues. We will be opening at 10 am on most days, as opposed to noon during a typical year. We encourage members to enjoy the pool during less busy times. (Mid afternoon is typically the most busy.)
Only members will be allowed this season; no guests.
The pool deck will be rearranged for greater distance between loungers, and everybody is required to maintain a 6 ft distance between themselves and others who are not members of their own household.
Most additional activities and events that we usually enjoy, such as member potluck, movie nights, swim team, swim lessons, picnic area rental for parties, etc, will not happen this year, as they are not conducive to physical distancing.
This probably goes without saying, but anyone showing the least symptom of illness should not be attending the pool.
Your membership packet that will be available at the pool will include this information, as well as our regular rules and an additional waiver. We will require an adult to pick up the packet and sign the waiver before any family member is allowed to use the pool.
The pool season is long, at least in pandemic time, and many things could change for either better or worse over the next three months. We will monitor the situation and may make adjustments as we go, but this is the starting point for now. We’re including a Questions and Answers document that has more detailed information; don’t hesitate to reach out if you have questions that are not covered, or any comments or suggestions - this is very new for all of us, and we appreciate your patience while we are navigating this situation.
We will have some additional staffing to help facilitate the new world order (as well as perform additional cleaning and sanitation), but ultimately we expect all our members to be respectful of these rules that are there for the safety of the whole community. We do understand that children are not good at physical distancing, so please make a realistic assessment of your own child’s abilities and required supervision, and don’t rely on the guards to be the “bad cops”.
If you and your family don’t feel comfortable attending the pool under these circumstances, we understand, and we hope to see you back next year. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a full, no-questions-asked refund of your membership fee. We only ask that you do so as soon as possible (certainly before the pool opens) so that we can offer the membership spot to another family.
With all that’s happened over the past few months, it will be wonderful to spend time together at the pool this summer. Hope to see you soon!
Jenny Berglund, HDCPA Board President
On behalf of the Board and Staff