The opening of McMinnville’s Gilley Pool could be sooner than normal.
The pool traditionally opens at the end of May with the closing of Warren County Schools. However, the pool's opening this year could be changed by COVID-19.
“I guess it’s going to be left up to if they reduce the social distancing restrictions,” said Alderman Everett Brock, who says the pool could open early if the stay-at-home order is lifted and people are allowed closer contact with one another.
Gov. Bill Lee announced Monday he will allow his safer-at-home order to expire April 30. At that time, Lee said he hopes most business can return to normal.
However, Lee also stated that until a vaccine or better treatment is available, Tennesseans will need to continue social distancing and practice good hygiene.
Brock says the pool could open early, if restrictions are reduced.
“If they reduce social distancing restrictions, we could open up early because schools are out. Normally we open and close with the school system. Right now, it looks like schools are out until next school year. We could open up in mid-May depending on what they do with social distancing rules.”
Social distancing restrictions may hinder opening the pool. But city officials expressed their belief opening the pool early might help boost community morale.
“The swimming pool is about the only thing we’ve got that actually makes money and it makes a lot,” said Alderman Steve Harvey.
According to city records, the pool generates approximately $230,000 in revenue annually through admission fees and concessions. That amount is before expenses.
The discussion was held during a telephone conference between the city’s Finance Committee members and administrative staff to discuss the impact the pandemic may have on the city government’s revenue stream in the upcoming fiscal year. No decision was made on pool opening.