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Nederland pool opening to community; reservation requirement protocol new this year

NEDERLAND — The Nederland Swimming Pool opens to the public on Friday, but it’s not going to be business as usual.

City officials are stressing safety and social-distancing protocols, creating a new environment for water fun in 2020.

At least initially, the pool is going to operate at 25 percent capacity (roughly 50 visitors) max. That means eager pool lovers must secure a reservation to access the pool.

The pool is open to the public between noon and 3:30 p.m. and between 4 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.

You must call 409-724-0773 to reserve a spot. Nederland residents get first crack at reservations, as they are allowed to start calling at 10:30 a.m. Non-residents can start calling at 11:30 a.m. to reserve pool time.

You can only reserve a spot for the next day, except for Friday callers, who can reserve spots on Saturday or Sunday.

Local swimmers 40 inches tall or shorter are free, swimmers between 41 and 48 inches tall are charged $2 and those 49 inches or taller are charged $4.

Adults with military ID and seniors 56 and over are free.

The prices are higher for non-Nederland residents.

City Manager Chris Duque said the staffing priority is lifeguards, noting the city would not operate its traditional concession stand for at least a week.

Duque said parks director Angela Fanette and her staff are focused on providing the safest pool season possible under current COVID-19 restrictions.

“The chairs are going to be removed, and it’s going to be more utilizing the table area,” Duque said. “When you make your reservation, you will be assigned a table. Everything will be spread out.

“When we start on Friday, people are allowed to bring in small ice chests for probably the first week. As usual, no glass bottles, no alcohol. They will ask people to open their coolers so they can inspect it. People can bring in water, soda, Gatorade, snacks, etc. in the beginning.”

No toys, chairs, goggles, etc. will be allowed. Lifejackets are allowed but cannot be shared. The climbing wall, slide, mushroom and bubblers are currently not available.

The bathrooms will be open, but the changing area, at least initially, is not going to be open for the public.

“That is something that we are probably going to change shortly,” Duque said. “People should come to the pool dressed to swim and they should be prepared to go home a little wet and possibly needing to take a towel to not soak their car or truck seat.”

Those looking to reserve the pool for a party must wait a few weeks, as Duque said officials aren’t looking to book private parties until July 10 at the earliest.

Those with additional questions can call the Nederland Recreation Center at 409-724-0773.

“We want to give as many people as possible a chance to get some pool time in versus it just being contained to a small group of people,” Duque said.

“We have to crawl before we walk, and walk before we run. Hopefully, we get there soon.”