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Pool’s closed: Brokenstraw latest casualty of virus

Facebook photo Youngsville Borough Council announced that Brokenstraw Pool will not open this season.

The Brokenstraw Valley Swimming Pool is the latest recreation casualty of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Tuesday, Youngsville Borough Council issued a release stating that the pool would not open this season.

“Because we, and so many others, love our pool, this is a difficult decision,” according to the release. “For the 2020 pool season only, Youngsville Borough Council has decided not to open the facility due to the challenges presented by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We felt it was the right thing to do to help keep our staff and customers safe,”

Borough Manager Lisa Hagberg addressed the decision on Wednesday.

“We have been following the interpretation of the guidance by the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS),” Hagberg said.

Under the yellow phase, pools are closed. Even in the green phase, the size of gatherings will be limited and social distancing will still be required. Limiting the number of people allowed in the pool would limit revenue from daily sales and cause problems with season passes.

“Council did not feel it would be fair to sell season passes and then possibly have to turn people away due to those gathering limitations,” Hagberg said. “Season pass revenues are critical to the financial success of the pool.”

There are also problems with distancing and others directly related to coronavirus concerns.

“Along with finances are the responsibilities that would be placed on the pool staff for life-saving strategies for potential COVID-19 patients, masking and the disinfection and social distancing requirements.”

“We felt these restrictions would be hard to comply with in the pool setting and children are not social distancers,” she said.

In a good year, the pool is not a money-maker for the borough.

“The pool is a labor of love to this community and we work very hard to keep it maintained and as financially viable as possible,” Hagberg said. “Council invested in a feasibility study in 2019, so we are going to take this 2020 season to look at the pool upgrades and renderings provided to us by Aquatic Facility Design, Inc. and determine a plan of action for upgrades and necessary maintenance, both this year and in the future.”

Anyone who has questions, suggestions, or discussion points, may direct them to Hagberg at 563-4604, ext. 2, or by email to lhagberg@youngsvilleboro.org.

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