UPDATE 6/26/ 12:31 p.m. – The Aldermen supported the issue unanimously in the phone poll.
UPDATE 6/23 6:50 p.m. – A phone poll among Tuesday asking if aldermen favor opening swimming areas around the city received a majority of support. The vote tally was not immediately available, but means that the city can go forward with the process of hiring staff. The vote included approval to open and for $26,902 from contingency to cover costs that would not be covered by GOFFER and “Fun in the Sun” money. The matter will be on the July 7 agenda.
Original story, June 22: MANCHESTER, NH – On Monday afternoon, Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig sent a letter to the Board of Aldermen recommending the re-opening of Crystal Lake, Dupont Splash Pad and Hunt Pool, as well as continuing to allow residents to use irrigation sprinklers at city parks.
In the letter, Craig says that with New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu allowing prohibitions on groups of more than 10 people in most situations lapse last week as well as the number of COVID-19 cases plateauing in Manchester that the move is now appropriate after recommending against the re-opening of pools earlier this month.
Another reason Craig cited in her earlier opposition to the pool re-opening was budgetary concerns after the COVID-19 pandemic reduced city revenues. However, in working with several city staff members, money was identified in Community Development Block Grants originally approved for the “Fun in the Sun” program as well as funding from the Governor’s Office for Emergency Relief and Recovery, better known as GOFERR.
The total estimated cost is $71,657 and the aldermen will still have to approve transferring $26,902 from the city’s contingency fund on top of the GOFERR and Fun in the Sun money.
Craig noted she will be sending the aldermen a poll on Tuesday due to time constraints with hiring staff for the facilities and also noted that strict social distancing procedures would be in place at all of the facilities and they could potentially be shut down if COVID-19 infections rise again in the city.
See the letter below: