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The Aberdeen City Council discussed at its Tuesday meeting the Aberdeen Parks and Rec board’s decision not to open the aquatic center this summer.  The meeting was held on a Tuesday rather than Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.  The item was discussed despite the fact there was nothing on the agenda about it.

 

The board decided to close the pool citing multiple reasons including financial, health and logistics of operating a pool during this time.  Parks and Rec Superintendent Mark Hoven says all those concerns are real, but staffing would be the real issue in actually opening the pool this summer…

 

 

 

 

The parks and rec board last week at a special meeting discussed the option of opening the pool at half capacity due to COVID-19.  If it were to do that, officials estimate the aquatic center would lose anywhere between $75,000 to $150,000.   Hoven also said pools around the state and country are not opening for the same reasons Aberdeen is facing.

 

Mayor Travis Schaunaman has been an advocate for the pool opening, even starting a gofundme effort to help make up any revenue shortfall.  The city is sitting on a multimillion dollar reserve fund that could be appropriated by the council to cover any shortfall the aquatic center may experience.  Mayor Schaunaman supported that very idea in a video he posted on his mayoral Facebook page…

 

 

 

 

City council members pushed back on the idea of using reserve funds to operate the aquatic center for a number of reasons.

 

Councilman David Bunsness said there are other projects the city abandoned due to revenue shortfalls that could be restarted…

 

 

 

In the end, the council also thought the decision of the parks board needs to be respected.  Councilman Clint Rux explained…     

 

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