The decision has been made. Cabool Pool will not open for the season this year.
Cabool Board of Aldermen discussed the matter during a meeting held May 4 at Cabool City Hall, then voted unanimously to not open the pool this summer.
Multiple factors were considered in making the decision, with a major one being the guidelines issued by the city’s insurer, MIRMA (Missouri Intergovernmental Risk Management Association) in regard to operating during the COVID-19 pandemic. City administrator Ron Scheets said the guidelines require, among other things, that all persons have their temperature taken before being admitted, there would have to be a three-foot space left around the perimeter of the pool and six feet around lifeguard stations, swimmers would be required to keep social distancing, and the pool would need to be shut down periodically during the day to allow for disinfecting of the facility.
Willow Springs has already announced its pool would be closed this summer, and Houston will also not have a pool open as they are in the process of building a new one, Scheets said. Mtn. Grove had not made a decision as of Monday, he added.
Scheets noted that the city employs 16 to 20 young people as lifeguards each year and that they go through training before the pool can open each season. In addition, new lifeguards may pay $150 to obtain their lifeguard certification.
With the time needed to get the pool and staff ready, plus the guidelines put forth by the insurance provider, “the logistics of it doesn’t add up,” Scheets said.
With no laws in place to regulate pool operations during the coronavirus pandemic, the city must rely on guidance from the health department and the city’s insurance provider. “They all want to give you their best guess, but nothing you can hang your hat on,” Scheets said.
On a motion by alderman Sam Mudd, seconded by alderman Brad Roberts, and approved by Mudd, Roberts and aldermen John Williams and John Mark Hale, it was voted to not open the pool this year.