By the time of this posting everyone should have received a letter from the Valley Ponds HOA regarding the opening of the pool for the 2020 season. Unfortunately, this preceded a communication from the Heatherbrook HOA, so we apologize for the timing of the communication.
To recap, the pool will not be opening for the 2020 season, as outlined in the Valley Ponds communication for the reasons listed.
To provide a bit more context to the decision, we want to share a few more points.
The decision was difficult, given last year and the tornado. All communities wanted to open the pool somehow, but we consulted with an attorney on two occasions and were unable to find a way to open the pool safely. According to the Governor’s guidance community pools are permitted to operate in counties in the yellow and green phases of the Governor’s phased-in reopening plan, provided they follow CDC guidance for aquatic venues and the Governor’s Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency.
We considered our options to reach compliance in order to open, but in the end, our small operation does not have the inherent resources or budget to perform and enforce all of the retirements, putting the association and our residents at a greater risk.
We have outlined several of the requirements that would need to be implemented, however this list is not exhaustive:
|CDC Guideline||Implementation||Feasibility||Additional Funding Required|
|Physical Barriers and Guides||Providing physical cues or guides and signs to ensure that staff, patrons, and swimmers stay at least 6 feet apart from those they don’t live with, both in and out of the water.||Not feasible. Physical separation and markings inside the pool would be difficult to implement.||Yes Second lifeguard potentially to implement separation within the pool.|
|Lifeguards and Water Safety||Ensuring that lifeguards who are actively lifeguarding are not also expected to monitor handwashing, use of cloth face coverings, or social distancing of others. Assign this monitoring responsibility to another staff member.|| Feasible. |
Second attendant (non-lifeguard) would have to enforce compliance
|1-2 additional staff as “attendants”|
|Signs and Messages||Broadcasting regular announcements about how to stop the spread on PA system. Posting signs about how to stop the spread of COVID-19||Not feasible – no PA system at pool currently.||Yes Purchase of PA system and ability to play continuous loop messages on COVID-19 prevention.|
|Cleaning and Disinfection||Hiring a second staff member to disinfect pool area and surfaces and perform enforcement activities.||Somewhat feasible. Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces at least daily and shared objects each time they are used.||Yes|
|Communication Systems And Designated COVID-19 Point of Contact||· Having staff, patrons, and swimmers self-report if they have symptoms of COVID-19, a positive test, exposed within the last 14 days. · Notifying local health authorities of COVID-19 cases. · Notifying staff, patrons, and swimmers (as feasible) of potential COVID-19 exposures while maintaining confidentiality in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Designating a staff member to be responsible for responding to COVID-19 concerns||Not feasible. This would be an additional (third) role to essentially do contact tracing and reporting to regulatory authorities.||Yes|
The full guidance from the CDC is listed here:
We reviewed what other pools are doing in the region and it is roughly a 50/50 mixture of open versus closed. What is apparent, is that those that are opening have far more resources than our small community pool.
We all want to be outside and have more to offer our children and families this Summer, including the community pool. This has not been an easy decision for anyone involved, as this is the second natural disaster effecting our community in two years. None of us ever thought this would be the case….. two natural disasters.
The reasons not to open were NOT made based on redirecting funds to other required projects such as the retention pond at the bottom of the community or other 2019 storm related expenses. The initial remediation will cost approximately $7,000 (rounded), but in fact there may be much more remediation required. There is not a surplus of funds at VP and we are attempting to phase the work over time so an “assessment” to each homeowner will not be required. We are also working with the township engineering firm and others to attempt to have the expense shared among all commercial parties involved, just not Valley Ponds. We anticipate the total expense to exceed the initial amount but are unsure what the total will be.
We hope that our community finds the information helpful, as we want to be as transparent as possible during this difficult time, as we all find ways to get to a place of normalcy and peace.