By Mitch Spinell
TUSCARAWAS COUNTY, Ohio - Uhrichsville officials are planning to open the town water park to visitors this spring, while New Philadelphia leaders hope to open the Tuscora Park pool.
Both closed all of last summer during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Uhrichsville Mayor Mark Haney says the waterpark will open Memorial Day weekend.
"The governor has given us a 30% capacity number, and that could change to even more," Mayor Haney told The Times-Reporter. "I have instructed our managers to start the process of hiring lifeguards and to prepare for opening day."
This would allow a maximum of 600 people to attend Uhrichsville Water Park per day, although the city will not be selling season passes as it did in the past, since it cannot guarantee entry to pass holders. The park will, however, honor 2020 season pass holders.
"We took a huge hit on revenue," says Mayor Haney. "The goal this year is to at least break even, to pay operating expenses, and to make sure there is money to make payments on the water park loan for 2022. Money has already been allocated to make this year's payment."
Meanwhile, New Philadelphia Mayor Joel Day says the plan is to fully open Tuscora Park this summer, including the pool, youth center, RTY Summer Showcase, and the First Town Days Festival.
Like Uhrichsville, Tuscora's pool is planned to open Memorial Day weekend.
Mayor Day did not know if there would be restriction guidelines, saying "that's up to the [Ohio] state health department and [Governor Mike DeWine]. If the restrictions would be too onerous, as was the case last summer, we won't be able to open the pool."
There is currently no decision on whether the pool at Dover City Park will be open this year.