New Bremen, YMCA prepare for opening of pool

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman - For the Sidney Daily News

NEW BREMEN- Balancing the restrictions of COVID-19 against the intention to open the municipal pool were a large part of the agenda of the New Bremen Village Council meeting Tuesday, May 26. The meeting was held on a Zoom website to maintain social distancing.

Since the governor’s office announced late last week that pools could open, Village Administrator Chris Dicke said they have been busy prepping the pool. She said the earliest the pool could open would be mid-June.

Rob Fleming, Aquatics Director of the YMCA, said in order to ensure social distancing, they would have a capacity of 164 people on the pool grounds at one time. The YMCA manages the pool for the village. Fleming also said that all swim meets had been canceled for the summer and no swim lessons would be offered.

Fleming said they plan to clean the restrooms hourly. Pending Health Department approval, he recommended closing the showers. He said it would be important for Y employees to wear masks so the public could see such measures were important.

Other decisions still in debate include what to charge for admittance and how to enforce social distancing. They are also considering limiting attendance only to New Bremen School District residents.

How to use or restrict use of shelter houses and restrooms were discussed, although no decisions were made. Both facilities are currently closed.

As to park use, It was agreed that the village would do some maintenance on the baseball field because pickup games were going on there. Leagues are canceled.

In other business, council agreed to the first reading of an ordinance to begin changing the traffic configuration on Plum and Walnut, now that the elementary school is closing. Plans include removing the school zone lighting and signs as well as eventually removing the traffic light, converting the intersection into a four-way stop. ODOT will remove the school flashers on state Route 66.

Dicke told council that village maintenance crews have been very busy. Not only have they begun prepping for the pool opening, she said they have been keeping up the mowing and tree trimming despite the rainy weather.

Some debate about the rusty finish on the new metal utility pole at the new electrical substation led Dicke to say she would send out some inquiries on how to improve the pole’s appearance.

The Franklin/Ash streets improvement project is almost complete and work anticipated to begin soon on construction of the left turn lane on state Route 274 in front of Crown Equipment.

Jacob Larger, council’s finance committee chair reported that May expenses for the village were $1,365,050.26 and April income was $1,917,734.93.

Approved was a final reading of an ordinance approving updated shelter house and Pavilion rental agreements and fees.

Council then adjourned to executive session to discuss litigation and property. No action was taken.

By Sandy Rose Schwieterman

For the Sidney Daily News

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.

The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.