UPDATE: Wausau votes to keep pools closed



Wausau’s three city pools will not open this summer. But now Schofield is considering it.

The Wausau City Council voted 9-2 to keep the pools closed this summer. The city’s Parks Committee had elected to support opening the pools, but asked Public Safety to weigh in on the idea. Public Safety disagreed with Parks decision and voted to recommend keeping them closed.

Ald. Pat Peckham asked Marathon County Health Officials if, were they granted authority to do so, would they order the pools closed and was told no. And Ald. Lou Larson said the number of cases in Marathon County has been exceptionally low. Parks officials put together a plan to open the pools as safely as possible in case the council voted to open them.

But others disagreed, saying the risk of opening the pools and potentially exposing the public to an increased spread of COVID-19 wasn’t worth the risk. “I use the pool, and I would love to use the pool this summer,” said Council President Becky McElhaney. “But the health department has been here many times and they have not wavered in their stance [against opening the pools].”

The decision also means the splash pad, fountain on the 400 Block, and fountain at Riverlife will not operate this summer. 

Weston on Monday voted to open its pool as soon as preparations can be made. Rothschild had voted earlier to keep the shared Rothschild/Schofield pool closed, but now Schofield voted 6-2 against a resolution to keep the pool closed. What that means isn’t entirely clear yet, said Schofield Mayor Kregg Hoehn. Schofield will hold a special meeting Tuesday to consider all the facts. Opening would also require a budget modification, Hoehn says, because opening half a season on its own would cost 2-3 times what the city typically budgets toward the pool.