After a brief hiatus, the Maxwell town pool is open again.
Directors of the Maxwell Parks and Recreation District opted to close for a few days for deep cleaning after a possible COVID-19 exposure, although the risk was minimal. Officials opted to close for a few days also to extend the time to two weeks from the date of the possible exposure in early July.
“To be on the safe side, we’ll shut down for a couple of days and just really clean and everything,” said Sharol Kuska, pool manager.
Kuska’s daily regimen of cleaning includes pool toys and picnic tables, sprayed off with a bleach water solution three times a day, prior to opening, during midday break, and at the end of the day. Kuska said that the pool is also heavily chlorinated per the recommendation of health officials. MPRD health declaration form and body temperature checks are also required prior to admittance in the pool area.
“I really love the Maxwell pool because it gives the kids a place to go in this heat,” said resident Mary Zaragoza-Wilson. “When I heard it might close, I was very sad.”
The pool reopened on July 27 and Kuska said there is a daily average of approximately 25 visitors throughout the weekday hours of 1- 7 PM. She said that private parties on the weekends have a limit of 20 guests and are restricted to immediate family members.
The community appreciation events, which were well attended, were cancelled this year due to restrictions on large crowds. Kuska, a member of the MPR board, came on as the pool manager in the middle of last summer and said that last year there were approximately 100 people who attended the ice cream social.
With thermostats consistently in the triple digits, the town pool is an oasis for residents. The pool was scheduled to close in connection with the start of the school year on Aug. 12, but now that school has been pushed to Aug. 19, pool officials hope to extend the recreational opportunity further.
In fact, the MPR board is currently reviewing their budget to see if the pool can stay open while the Maxwell Unified School District is in Distance Learning mode, with discussions right now centered around the possibility of being open from 3:30-7 PM for a few days in the week and some Saturdays, as long as the weather stays hot.
Currently there are approximately four more free swimming days left and Kuska said she will be sending out letters to request more sponsored days if the pool is to stay open past the scheduled closing date.
On Aug. 10, Kuska said the MPR district will know the results of proposition 218 assessment tax being voted, which would help with pool operations. It will also help to do major repairs needed for the pool’s longevity.
Without the return of students to school, there is very little for youth to do for recreation in Maxwell.
“I hear people say things like there’s nothing really open,” said Kuska, concerned especially with the lack of sports that provide a social outlet for the youth. “I don’t know what these kids are going to do without sports.” ■