Dear DHARA Members,
On Saturday, we sent an update on the plans for opening of Dominion Hills Pool, with links to the Phase 1 opening procedures and a COVID amendment to our Rules & Regulations. Today, we are announcing that we are reopening for lap swimming on June 6 — ahead of our June 13 target date. After logging into the website, members can now register for lap swimming for the first week.
We also wanted to provide some additional information based on questions and inquiries about some of the restrictions, decision-making process, and financial impact of this situation. We also have been updating the FAQs on the DH website and encourage members to periodically check that page.
Q: Why will access to the pool be limited to only 6 lap swimmers at a time? And will that be the case for the duration of the summer?
A: The limit of 6 lap swimmers at a time is based on a Phase 1 restriction mandated by the state of lap swimming only, one swimmer per lane. We do not yet know the state requirements for later phases, but we are hopeful that they will permit greater access to the pool.
Q: Why is the minimum age to participate in lap swimming during Phase 1 set at 15 years of age?
A: The DHARA Board decided to allow lap swimming for age 15 and up in Phase 1. Prior to the Board’s decision, several other ages were discussed, both younger and older than 15. We understand that some swimmers younger than 15 can handle 30 minutes of lap swim and that some are mature enough to handle the social distancing requirements and other regulations put in place to safeguard our members and DHARA staff. However, after a lengthy discussion, we decided that 15, the minimum age to be one of our lifeguards, is the youngest age at which we were comfortable at this time. With recommendations and input from the Pool Manager, the Board can revisit this age limit after our first week.
Q: Will there be 3 slots per membership or per member for Phase 1?
A: The 3-slot limit applies to each membership. In other words, a family of five would be allowed three reservations each week (not 15). A reservation allows a single swimmer to swim laps for 30 minutes. The Board considered the math, and a cap is necessary given the limited capacity of the pool during Phase 1. We are hopeful that later phases will permit greater access to the pool.
Q: Will whole or partial refunds be considered if access to the pool remains limited throughout the duration of the summer? What if my family does not have any lap swimmers and we don’t use the pool at all? What longer-term financial implications will there be as a result of this summer?
A: At this time, the Board has not determined whether refunds or credits for next year will be provided. Once the season is over, and we have concrete costs/expenses, we will have a clear picture of our financials. The great majority of the costs that we incur are fixed (annual staff, capital debt/loan payments, insurance, property taxes, maintenance, etc.). And at this point we do not know what our expenses as well as revenues will be this season (we will lose revenue from forgone clubhouse rentals, swim lessons, etc.). We will revisit the idea of refunds or credits after the season. There are many unknowns at this point, but as member owners of the pool we are all responsible in part for operating DHARA. You also can view the budget for this year, which was approved at the February 2020 Annual Membership Meeting.
Q: How will planning for Phase 2 work? Will the membership be asked for input on interests and potential usage?
A: The Board and Pool Manager will begin detailed planning for Phase 2 when we have Phase 2 guidelines from the state. We will continue to send the membership updates as we move into Phase 2 planning. We encourage members to share ideas, understanding that some may not fit with state guidelines, the best interests of all members or the pool as an entity.
We again want to reiterate how disappointed we all feel that we are not able to have full use of our beloved pool in the same way we have enjoyed it in the past. These are not normal times, unfortunately, and we are working our best within the guidelines that we’re allowed to open the pool safely and in a manageable way. We will continue to advocate for clarity from the state/county and more specifics about what we can anticipate for Phase 2 and beyond, and we will continue to update you with developments.
We hope that this communication, along with the updated FAQ page, helps further answer your questions. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, members can sign up to join a Zoom session with Board members on Saturday at 1 p.m. (limit of 100). This will be an opportunity for Board members to share updates and listen to member input.
The DHARA Board