TORRINGTON – Even as Wyoming and the United States as a whole begins its slow recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, not everything is back to normal.
During the coming and passing of Memorial Day, one Torrington landmark, the Dale Jones Municipal Swimming Pool, was silent. As the summer temperatures begin to climb, the relief offered by the pool’s cool water will be in demand – but as of now, there’s no clear answer as to whether or not the pool will open in 2020.
“We have no idea what we’re going to do at this point,” Torrington Mayor Randy Adams said Tuesday.
Adams told the Torrington City Council that a repair project on the pool was about a week from being finished, but it’s unclear if the pool would be able to open when it’s done.
“I received word yesterday that the swimming pool repair should be completed soon,” he said. “It may be about a week or so, and with that we are working together with (Goshen County Public Health).”
Adams said the city has been reaching out to other entities that operate similar facilities, and the results have been mixed.
“We have been contacting lots of entities in the state and next door to us in Nebraska, trying to find out how they are opening, if they are opening, and so on,” Adams said. “We’re finding out that about 95% of the ones in Nebraska are closed.
“There are a few that will open at a pretty restricted level. There are a few in Wyoming, but all with very strict restrictions.”
Adams said he hopes to have an answer later this week.
While COVID-19 is the biggest issue determining whether or not the pool will open in 2020, the budget could prove to be a concern, as well. City Clerk-Treasurer Lynette Strecker said she did not think the pool would open this year, and as such, she left it out of the city’s proposed 2020-2021 budget.
The city must cut $2.3 million from its annual operating budget due to losses suffered during the pandemic. Strecker said that, if the pool opens, she would have to find $30,000 to operate it.
“I had planned on the pool not opening,” she said. “It it’s opening, I need to put money back in it.”
Another trademark of the summer is still on as scheduled, though. Adams said the city has already ordered the fireworks for an Independence Day celebration.
“We have tentatively scheduled a Fourth of July fireworks display, which will take place in the usual location just south and east of the over pass,” he said. “Fireworks have been ordered, and a plan has been put in place that the public will honor social distancing and protect each other.
“It’s important that we can come together and celebrate our country.”