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Swimmers present poll results in support of opening McPherson water park

Dylan Sherwood
McPherson Sentinel
A majority of citizens in McPherson have made their wishes known to open the McPherson Water Park via a poll survey, brought to McPherson City Commissioners by local swim team members and the water park director.

McPherson High School swim team members Matt Powers, EJ Hein, Alex Houston, and Cody Achillies, along with McPherson Water Park director Kyle Roberts, proposed a plan to open the town’s water park to the McPherson City Commission Tuesday morning.

Roberts proposed an opening of the water park to occur on June 15, during Phase 3 of Gov. Laura Kelly’s Ad Astra Plan to reopen Kansas. Phase 3 of Gov. Kelly’s reopening plan is expected to start on June 8.

Roberts said a poll was created on the water park’s Facebook page and has nearly 2,000 votes, with the majority voting yes to open the water park.

The water park will abide to social distancing requirements set by Kelly’s plan which would restrict access to the water park by 45 people. It would also have marked distances in concessions, slides and diving board, one gate for both entry and exit and waiting lines for patrons to enter the pool. By accommodating social distancing procedures, the pool will have a capacity of no more than 150 patrons.

Seating areas will be split up to maintain social distancing and masks will not be required by managers and lifeguards with patrons having the option, but will be required for employees in concessions and admissions.

The water park will have roving stations for support staff and concessions to sanitize items such as hand rails, ladders, tubes, chairs.

The commissioners did not take action in Tuesday’s meeting but will wait to hear results from a special legislative session on June 3. A vote could take place on the proposal during the city’s June 8 regular meeting.

Around the state, city pool committees and governing bodies are considering similar cases as COVID-19 restrictions ease and locals want to go swimming as summer heats up.