The City of Park Hills will begin opening some of the city’s facilities soon and have already opened city offices while exercising precautions.
While city officials have set time frames for opening some facilities to the public, City Administrator Mark McFarland said the exact dates for opening some of them would be determined after Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addresses the state regarding the pandemic at the beginning of June.
The Park Hills Municipal Pool will not open on Memorial Day as it usually does each year. City workers were painting the pool Wednesday and Thursday, and McFarland said the city is shooting for the first weekend of June to open, if possible.
“Normally we would open [the pool] on Memorial Day weekend, but we can’t this year due to the fact that we didn’t even know if we could open it yet,” said McFarland. “We kind of got the green light that the pool was one of the safer places because of the chlorine, and there may not be restrictions on numbers for that.”
McFarland said the city has already hired a pool manager and begun hiring lifeguards and other seasonal workers for the summer.
The Park Hills Public Library is making preparations to open Tuesday. Library employees have been in the process of installing plexiglass dividers and implementing other measures to reduce community spread of pathogens.
Park Hills recently opened up its city hall building, allowing people to enter one at a time. McFarland said he felt the city was gradually getting back to normal while making sure appropriate precautions are still being taken as needed.
The statewide stay-at-home order was lifted earlier this month, allowing public and private facilities to open. Just prior to lifting the stay-at-home order, Parson extended his Emergency Declaration to June 15 but made it clear that the declaration was not an extension of the stay-at-home order.
“Extending the Emergency Declaration simply allows us to continue utilizing our resources and deploying them around the state, even as we move into recovery,” Parson said in an April tweet. “This also enables us to keep waivers/suspensions of state statutes & regulations in place while adjusting to reopening.”
In another statement tweeted by the governor, he assured Missouri residents that his administration had been closely consulting with many health and safety professionals while making the call to reopen the state and lift restrictions.
“I want to be clear that none of these decisions have been made alone. We have been in constant communication with leaders at federal, state & local levels to develop our recovery plan,” Parson tweeted. “We have also received input from our hospitals, health care providers, public health experts, emergency personnel, mayors, county commissioners, religious leaders, businesses, and employees. I want to thank everyone who has provided their advice & expertise throughout this process.”
Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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