BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FORT MADISON – Get out your swimming trunks and those arm floatie things. City and local YMCA officials are gearing up for a possible opening of the city pool starting next weekend.
According to Fort Madison Mayor Matt Mohrfeld and Fort Madison YMCA Executive Director Ryan Wilson, the goal at this point is for a soft opening with lap swimming on Thursday and Friday, with a full pool open on Saturday.
“Sunshine, chlorine and exercise… sounds pretty healthy to me,” said Mohrfeld Thursday morning.
“I’ve said all along when the Governor says we can open up I want to be ready the next day. Obviously it doesn’t work like that, but you set a goal and we go from there.”
Wilson said the opening is dependent upon chemicals arriving in time and some painting getting done on the bottom of the pool, but he said his conversations with city officials and suppliers look pretty good for a soft start on Thursday.
A soft start could be just lap swimming from noon to 1 p.m. and possibly 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., but he’s still finalizing what that would look like with pool staff.
“It might be just some lap swimming, and making sure everything is in place and we’re prepared. But the way we’re reading things is there won’t be a limit on the number of people,” Wilson said.
He’s also reviewing language from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control on guidance for pool opening and safety of swimmers as the pandemic continues to impact the nation.
Wilson said because of the late start to the season, there will be no season passes, only day passes will be sold at the pool.
“Everything’s going to be a little different. Business could be different and there will be no season passes, just day passes and paying at the pool itself.”
Mohrfeld said he was excited about the opening and is hoping nothing gets in the way.
“We have to get it ready, fill it, get the chemicals in, but as long as their are no glitches, we could be ready to go Thursday or Friday. That’s the plan.”