Local residents will be allowed their first cold splash in McMinnville’s Gilley Pool on Saturday at 10 a.m.
June 13 was selected as the opening date for the popular recreation spot after city officials approved it being open to the public two weeks ago. Several changes have been made, due to COVID-19, in an effort to protect swimmers.
“There are a lot of changes and we’ve been trying to make the public aware of them before we open on Saturday,” said Parks and Recreation Department recreational programmer Kyle Clyde. “We are limiting admittance to Warren County residents only. Bring your driver’s license. If your license does not have a local address on it, bring a local water department bill with your name on it. You must have one of those.”
Normal capacity for the pool is 800. To allow for social distancing, that number has been drained to 200.
“Squares will be marked for individuals or families to use to help them with their social distancing efforts,” said Clyde. “There won’t be any deck chairs so people do need to bring their own from home. We are offering limited concessions with pizza, chips, candy bars, drinks and bottled water. No coolers allowed.”
Two 4-hour sessions will be offered each day, Monday thru Saturday. Session 1 is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Session 2 is 2:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“We’ll close at 2 p.m. for cleaning,” said Clyde. “Everyone will be asked to leave. There’s no re-admittance. If you want to come back at 2:30 p.m., you’ll have to pay admission. This summer’s pricing structure has also been changed. Regardless of age, admission is $5 per person. We’re not offering any summer passes.”
Limiting admission to Warren County residents only has created disappointment and received disapproval from out-of-county residents.
“I’ve been reading some of the comments being made online,” said Clyde. “A lot of people do not like that the pool will be limited to Warren County residents only. It’s being said that we just don’t want them here. That’s not true. These are very difficult times. We had to limit capacity to 200. When we can open at full capacity and invite 800 people in, we’ll welcome them with open arms. We cannot do that at this time.”
Changes to the restrictions may be made as Gov. Bill Lee loosens the constraints associated with offering a public pool.