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Pools to Close for 2020; Events Cancelled Through June 30

Posted April 27, 2020 in Uncategorized by David Ball

In light of statements issued Monday by the State of Ohio, the City of Hilliard will not open its pools and splash pads this summer, due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns.

The City also will be cancelling all City-sponsored special events through June 30. Additionally, the Hilliard Senior Center also will remain closed through that date. The City will be stepping up its outreach efforts to our older population, adding new programs to existing initiatives such as the Kind Care Calls, and drive-through lunch programs that have been offered in the past few months.

“These are not decisions we took lightly, given the popularity of Hilliard’s aquatics facilities and summer events,” said City Manager Michelle Crandall. “Due to the continuation of social distancing practices by the State of Ohio and the need to ensure the health and safety of our community, opening our pools is not possible.”

Because there are significant fixed costs associated with preparing pools to open for the summer season, it also would not be financially practical to plan to offer a shortened or modified season, Crandall said. Staffing would also be a challenge, as many seasonal employees hired to work at the pools will likely seek other summer employment, Crandall said.

The City also is cancelling its events through June 30. This includes the June Celebration at the Station Concert Series, June’s Safety Town, swim lessons, Saturday morning Motivation at the Station, May’s Touch-a-Truck event, and the May presentation by Columbus Children’s Theatre. There currently is no plan to reschedule these events.

At this time, state guidelines also preclude Recreation and Parks programming, summer camps, and youth and adult group sports. The City will continue to monitor decisions by the state and will re-evaluate whether we can offer those activities as guidelines change.

All people who purchased season pool memberships or paid for other Recreation and Parks programs such as Safety Town will be reimbursed the full amount of their purchase. Refunds will be issued in May to the credit card the initial purchase was made on, or by check for those who paid in that manner.

“Our first priority is the safety and health of our community,” Crandall said. “This crisis evolves each day, so at this time we are maintaining a ‘wait-and-see’ approach for the remainder of the summer. We remain hopeful that it will be possible to hold our popular events and activities later in the summer, but right now we don’t have enough direction from the State of Ohio to make a final decision.”

The City is exploring offering additional virtual Rec and Park programming and other alternate activities that can be provided to the community while also respecting social distancing guidelines, Crandall said. Currently, Rec and Parks is offering numerous free programs through its online “Healthy Hilliard” series (https://hilliardohio.gov/healthy-hilliard/), and of course there are free fitness opportunities for families available through amenities such as the Heritage Trail and in local parks.

Details on new activities will be announced on the City’s website and social media as they become available.

“Unfortunately, COVID-19 is causing everyone to make some difficult decisions,” Crandall said. “No one at the City is happy about these sacrifices, but we know we must respect the guidelines put in place by the state and medical professionals if we are going to work together to keep our community safe.”