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Devon Community Pool to remain closed for 2020 season

Devon Community Pool to remain closed for 2020 season
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Splash Park to open with Stage 2 of Alberta relaunch June 12 at 10 a.m.

On June 9, 2020, the Government of Alberta announced that they will be moving to Stage 2 of Alberta’s relaunch, which includes additional recreation opportunities such as pools and indoor recreation, on June 12, 2020. Unfortunately, despite this announcement, the Town of Devon will not be opening the Devon Community Pool for the 2020 season.

Devon Splash Park Opening June 12

The Devon Splash Park in Centennial Park will open with the launch of Stage 2 this Friday, June 12 at
10 a.m. and will remain open all summer long unless restrictions are reinstituted on outdoor recreation by the province. The Splash Park is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. until the start of September.

“It is great to see the province moving into Stage 2 of its relaunch a week earlier than anticipated and allow us to continue lifting restrictions on our outdoor recreation opportunities for residents,” said Ray Ralph, Mayor for the Town of Devon. “Unfortunately, even with Stage 2 restrictions allowing for pools to open as of June 12, we will not be opening the Devon Community Pool this summer. We are however opening our Splash Park on June 12 for families to enjoy.”

Why isn’t the Town opening the pool?

As much as the Town would like to open the Devon Community Pool this summer, there are a number of reasons that have gone into the decision to leave it closed for the 2020 season.

Running an outdoor pool requires year-round planning and the information provided to the Town regarding pool and recreation centre openings by Alberta Health Services (AHS) in the spring indicated that pools would likely remain closed until at least the fall of 2020.

Financial Viability

There is a large cost associated with operating an outdoor pool and with significantly shortened season and current economic climate, the Town feels it is unfair to ask all residents to bear this cost.

Money that was originally budgeted for the 2020 pool season has been re-allotted to reduce the potential tax burden on residents when Council approves the 2020 municipal tax rates.

Pool Hiring & Set Up

Each year, the Town starts hiring pool staff in March and prepping the pool for the season throughout April, May and June. Interviews and hiring for pool staff was completed on schedule this year, however with the decision to close the pool, most staff were notified that the Town didn’t have jobs to offer them and many of the qualified candidates that were hired have since moved on to other opportunities.

The preparation that goes into setting up the outdoor pool and ensuring it is safe and approved by AHS  for residents also takes about 6 weeks to complete after staff have been hired and is usually done by pool staff each summer.

COVID-19 is still a reality

There are many variables around the health and safety of pool users that need to be considered for any municipality looking at opening their pool or recreation facility this summer as COVID-19 is still a reality. This, combined with the significantly shortened season and financial viability of the pool for this year, has led the Town to have the pool remain closed for the 2020 season.

We know that this is disappointing news for many residents, however it was a tough decision that was not taken lightly by Town Council.

If Alberta keeps following the direction of the Chief Medical Officer and following AHS recommendations, COVID-19 will hopefully no longer be as large of a concern next spring as we move into our 2021 pool season.

See the Government of Alberta Relaunch Strategy at alberta.ca/alberta-relaunch-strategy.

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For more information contact:

Justin Janke
Communications Coordinator
Town of Devon
P: 780-987-8302
E: JJanke@devon.ca

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Devon, AB T9G 1A1

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