Norfolk County has decided to keep the Delhi Kinsmen Pool closed for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19 throughout the community, the province’s emergency orders have closed public swimming pools and splash pads until at least the end of June, significantly shortening the potential outdoor swimming season,” said a press release from the county Thursday.
The pool is usually open for use from the beginning of June to the end of August.
“The provincial government has ruled closures with respect to COVID until at least June 30,” Delhi Coun. Mike Columbus said in a phone interview on Thursday. “Until this COVID thing is over and we have a clear message we just have to be patient and wait, that’s about all we can do.”
The Delhi pool was the heart of some budget conversations earlier in the year. In January council put off for a year a recommendation to end financial support of the Kinsmen Pool in Delhi.
Karen-Melinda Howard, president of the Delhi Waterdragons swim team, spoke to council at the time about how closing the pool would “tear the county apart.”
At the same meeting, Port Dover Coun. Amy Martin said the operating cost is reasonable but there are some major capital repairs coming down the pipe that the county wants to avoid.
The future of the pool, and other facilities in the area, also prompted Brent Stefan of Delhi to begin working on re-establishing a Kin-Club in the community.
“I have heard that the Kinsmen Club is trying to reinvigorate itself, but I have not heard much of late,” said Columbus. “I haven’t heard much as to where that pool initiative is at. Like all of these groups that are trying to take hold, they are all having a very difficult time to make any plans or even discussions about a particular initiative.”
The Delhi Kinsmen Splash Park and Simcoe Kinsmen Splash Park will remain closed until the province allows such facilities to open and Norfolk County develops protocols to protect the health of users.
Additionally, Norfolk County will not open the Annaleise Carr Aquatic Centre in Simcoe until at least September 8, provided the provincial government has lifted emergency orders by that time.
With files from Monte Sonnenberg