By now you would normally hear the cheers and horns from the Crockett Swim Team and John Swett Swim Team at the pool. It is eerily quiet in the early mornings as both teams had to cancel their season due to the coronavirus. The Crockett pool, which traditionally opens to the public on Memorial Day weekend, will remain closed and will not be open until coronavirus restrictions are lifted. The Recreation Department is monitoring guidance from the state and county on when it would be safe to open the pool and would love nothing more than to reopen, but it must be done responsibly to maintain the progress we all have made in the fight against coronavirus. At this time, we do not have a date on when or if the pool will open this summer. If it does open this season, expect changes to take place including no swimming lessons, limiting the number of guests, following social distancing requirements on the pool deck, and enhanced disinfecting for the safety of the public and our employees. Announcement on the pool opening this summer will be made on our website and on social media, along with posting of a banner at the corner of Rolph and Pomona.
The state and county restrictions on outdoor activities were recently lifted to promote exercise and health which allowed us to open the tennis courts for public use. Social distancing protocols must still be followed, and rules of use are posted at the tennis courts. The bocce courts remain closed as bocce balls are considered shared equipment. The Crockett Bocce League, in cooperation with the Recreation Department, will determine if the bocce season can be salvaged. Play structures, picnic tables, and BBQ areas in Alexander Park and behind the Crockett Community Center remain closed. The bathrooms in Alexander Park will remain closed until restrictions on gatherings in parks are lifted.
Events at the Community Center have been cancelled and use of the facility will not be possible for some time. We are hopeful that when Stage 3 of the coronavirus Resilience Roadmap is reached smaller events in the auditorium will be allowed. We anticipate larger events; such as weddings and quinceañeras, will fall under the Stage 4 opening which most likely is months away. A recreation parcel tax primarily funds the pool and Alexander Park, but the Recreation Department relies on rental revenue to fund and operate the Community Center. The Recreation Department has lost over $40K through May and anticipates an additional $40K+ in lost income at the Community Center through the end of September. The Recreation Department had to furlough two employees and has postponed hiring of lifeguards until we know the pool can open for the summer.
Summer Concerts and Shakespeare in the Park are still penciled in on the calendars for July and August but neither of these events is guaranteed to happen. The Recreation Department supports opening activities safely, but, unfortunately, it is just too early to know if this is going to be possible. A decision will most likely be made in June on whether these events will be held based on the success the greater community has had in reducing the spread of the coronavirus.
We will adjust to the new normal. The coronavirus pandemic is still well underway, and it appears our community may be dealing with this for a long time to come. Our Recreation Department staff, Recreation Commission, and District Board remain committed to restoring recreation services to the community as soon as possible while doing it safely.
Dale McDonald, General Manager
Crockett Community Services District