Whitehall-Coplay Press

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Coplay will keep pool closed for season

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Fate of borough’s 2020 Community Days could be decided by end of May

At its regular meeting May 12, Coplay Borough Council agreed, after some discussion, to keep the municipal pool closed for the summer season.

The overriding consideration, per council members, was the county’s continued stay-at-home order from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf. Even when restrictions are lifted at some future date, the rules of maintaining social distancing to help ensure residents’ safety are cumbersome and often changing.

During its initial deliberation, council set a requirement that the borough would not allow anyone in the pool from outside Coplay.

“The state guidelines want us to keep social distancing, and we could not have more than half our capacity,” Councilman Stephen Burker said. “We want the pool to be a safe place where residents can come and enjoy themselves. That just isn’t going to happen if we need to follow the rules outlined in the governor’s program.”

Councilman Charles Sodl agreed and indicated his intent to close the pool. No one could come up with a scenario where the pool could open and be cost effective.

Council’s decision is in line with how other local municipalities are looking at pools.

Coplay’s other big event is Community Days. The concern is keeping any type of social distancing. Burker is talking with other surrounding communities to see their plans.

With all the vendors and staff required for Community Days, Burker would need to start planning soon. He intends to decide by the end of the month.

“Community Days is a big revenue generator for us, but we don’t want to jeopardize anyone’s safety or enjoyment,” Burker said.

In other news, Councilwoman Janet Eisenhauer talked about renewing the borough’s existing bond and adding on funds for a new public works building.

“The bond people are looking at us favorably. We now need to get some estimates on what the new building will cost,” Eisenhauer said.

Building estimates are due at the end of May.

Eisenhauer indicated taxes will go up, although she did not have a specific amount. The plan is to have a significant increase in 2021, followed by a smaller increase in 2022, followed by another increase in 2023. Council will be looking at the number to see how best to accomplish the transaction. As Sodl indicated, raising taxes will be challenging with the uncertainty in the labor market.

The next meeting for council will be June 2.