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Ready to swim? Some WNY pools are opening soon under new guidelines

Next week Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore residents will be able to visit the Lincoln Swimming and Wading Pool facility.

TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Next week, Town of Tonawanda and Kenmore residents will be able to visit the Lincoln Swimming and Wading Pool facility, but will need to follow stringent zero-tolerance policies.

The pools will open on Monday, June 29. 

The main pool will be limited to 75 people, and the wading pool will be capped at 50 people. Here's a few ways this year will be different:

  • Only Ken-Ton residents will be allowed to visit this season. 
  • Social distancing will be enforced in and around the pool desk. There will be a "walkway" around the pool, there will be single entry and exit points, and there will be monitors to enforce social distancing. Slide stairs, entrances and sidewalks will have 6 foot markings to separate people.  
  • There will be no tables or chairs for use, each person must bring their own chair with them to the pool. If the limited family seating areas on the deck fill up, people will be expected to sit outside of the deck. 
  • You must wear a mask while entering and walking around the facility, until you are about to enter the pool. Hand sanitizer will be available.
  • There will be no locker rooms and showers will be blocked off. Only one family will be allowed in the bathrooms at a time, but it will not be used as a changing room. There will be a caretaker to sanitize the bathrooms and other communal areas that are often touched.
  • Swimming will be a first-come, first-serve basis.

"We are going to give it our best shot, it’s up to the public to follow our policies and our guidelines. It’s a zero tolerance" said Town of Tonawanda Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mark Campanella.  

If you're a Ken-Ton resident, you'll need to buy a resident access card.

The Town of Amherst will be opening two community pools starting July 6. 

"We plan to open both Clearfield and North Forrest and we plan to alternate days between the two, so we can do heavy cleaning on the other pool deck" said Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa.

Kulpa said the town is still writing up guidelines for the opening of those pools but says they will follow CDC and New York State guidelines.

"Frequent cleanings, making sure people aren’t over congregating on the pool decks" he said.

Though some municipalities are choosing to open pools for the summer, others are not. The Town of Clarence, Town of Lancaster, Village of Hamburg, City of Niagara Falls, City of Lockport and City of North Tonawanda have all decided not to open pools this summer.

Many local leaders cited budgetary issues in addition to COVID-19 restrictions.

As for the City of Buffalo, a spokesperson said the decision on whether or not to open pools has not been made yet. However, splash pads could open at the end of the week.

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