After careful consideration, the difficult decision was made to close St. Peters outdoor pools for the 2020 outdoor swimming season. This includes our pools in Laurel Park and The Cove at St. Peters outdoor aquatic center.
We know many of our residents, guests, swim teams and others look forward to the summertime and activities at our pools. This is yet another hardship because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Several important factors went into this decision.
Health and Safety - Whether it’s the Covid-19 pandemic or City operations in general, the health and safety of St. Peters residents, guests and our staff team are always our number one concern. That’s why we make sure we always have safe working conditions for our staff team, and we repair and maintain City facilities and amenities like parks and trails so that our residents and guests can be safe. When considering whether to open our pools, health and safety issues like keeping restrooms, tables, lounge chairs and other common areas clean and sanitized are a nearly impossible challenge when we have hundreds of people visiting the pools every day. Maintaining social distancing in these areas would also be very difficult.
Lifeguards are first responders. When outdoor pools are open, our lifeguards typically average at least one incident each day where a lifeguard enters a pool to assist a guest who is in distress. Lifeguards also respond to about five to seven First Aid cases each day that our outdoor pools are open. Each response would expose our lifeguards to an unprotected situation. Oftentimes, more than one lifeguard responds to an incident.
Finances - Like every other local or state government, we are facing significant sales tax revenue losses due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy. Our City elected officials and our management team are looking at all options to continue to provide the high level of essential services St. Peters residents expect while maintaining our low fees and property tax rates. That is our goal.
The outdoor pools are not self-funded programs. The fees and memberships we collect from pool users don’t cover the costs of running our outdoor pool operations. City tax dollars are being focused to provide essential services like trash collection, street repairs, our outstanding Police Department and our 25 parks and 26 miles of paved trails.
This Covid-19 pandemic is forcing us to make tough choices. We will always try to consider the options that will benefit our City residents now and looking towards the future stability and success of St. Peters.