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May 2, 2020
RE: UPDATES ON POOL SEASON, MAY EVENTS AND PROGRAMS
I hope you are all staying well and continuing to support one another as we continue to navigate this challenging time. I want to thank you for your compliance with the State’s Orders over the past seven weeks and for your continued diligence as permissible activities are phased back in by the State.
As we enter the month of May, I know you are all wondering what summer might look like during the COVID-19 pandemic. As Mayor, I am the director of public safety for the City and must follow the lead of the State of Ohio and County Health Department authorities. In conjunction with the Stay Safe Order which keeps pools closed for the next month, limits gatherings to fewer than 10 people, and mandates social distancing, and in accordance with advice from Franklin County Public Health, I am very sorry to announce that the 2020 Memorial Day Parade will be canceled and the Grandview Heights Pool will remain closed during the 2020 season. All membership fees will be refunded.
Having spent the last 13 summers at the pool, I am painfully aware of what this means for residents. These decisions are never made without careful assessment of options. Much work behind the scenes is needed to mobilize safe pool operations such as cleaning, filling, balancing chemicals, training, and ensuring minimum staffing is in place. We have already delayed the pool start-up process by several weeks while we considered hopeful scenarios, but the new Stay Safe Order leaves too many unknowns to plan a delayed opening. For example, a July 4 target opening would require us to begin those start-up operations in earnest by early June – yet the Stay Safe Order is in place until May 29, and no signs point to social distancing requirements being lifted by the State when that Order expires. Rather, the Governor emphasizes that social distancing will be with us a long time, and at a basic level, we have to recognize that social distancing is incompatible with the operation of a public pool.
As we cherish memories of our annual Memorial Day Parade, we are working on new, creative ways to honor our Veterans and will announce soon how you can be part of the celebration. Many of you have children who are involved in summer programs through our Parks & Recreation Department. At this time, we are cancelling May programs including Blast Off to Summer, Junior Bobcat Golf Camp, and Grandview Heights Summer Sports Camp. Due to each program having its own unique components, future decisions about summer programs will be made on a case-by-case basis following State and local health guidelines. If your child is signed up, you will be notified directly about the status of other programs. Refunds of payments will be made for canceled programs and pool memberships.
I share the deep disappointment and sadness you have felt over the past few months, and it gives me no pleasure to cancel some of our most beloved summer activities. However, we know as of today that this virus persists, and safety must come first. It takes the worst to bring out the best, and our community is no exception. As I walk around town, many of you are expressing renewed optimism and joy for the simple things in life. Your willingness to help your neighbors, spread cheer, and look for the silver lining brings me great hope that we will emerge from this crisis stronger and more united than before.
Yours in health,
Greta M. Kearns, Mayor of Grandview Heights