Stothert: No outdoor pools in Omaha this summer

Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 5:30 PM CDT
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In her weekly COVID-19 update Thursday afternoon, Mayor Jean Stothert said opening up the city's outdoor pools for such a short time just didn't make sense this year.

The mayor said since it's not yet known when Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts will loosen rules that apply to pools, the pool season could end up being only about a month long, given that it would take two weeks to get the pools ready — plus schools may be starting earlier this year.

With Council Bluffs opening pools Monday — with restrictions and by appointment only — 6 News asked the mayor whether that made her decision tougher.

"We have a lot more pools than Council Bluffs," she said. "Our challenge is we usually train our lifeguards and staff in April and May and a lot of those kids have other jobs or are doing other things — and it just doesn't seem practical."

The city is prepared to open its three indoor pools — in Elkhorn, Mockingbird, and Montclair — if the governor loosens restrictions.

Parks Director Brook Bench said the city knows this a disappointment to a number of families, and so a number of hydrant parties are being planned and splash grounds across the city are open.

Not reopening the pools will save the city $2 million.