Mount Vernon, Ill. to reopen the Aquatic Zoo

Mt. Vernon pool reopens amid pandemic

MOUNT VERNON, Ill. (KFVS) - Many pools across the state of Illinois have not reopened for the summer.

The city of Mount Vernon is not in that category. They decided to open up the Aquatic Zoo, the city’s water park, on July 1.

Assistant City Manager Nathan Mckenna said it was a lot to reopen but it was well worth it.

“In order to open, we have decided we are going to limit it to two sessions from 11-3 then an hour in between to sanitize the bathrooms and surfaces and stuff like that and then we’ll open up for our second session from 4 to 8,” said Mckenna

Mckenna said he’s ready to reopen and the outpour from the city has been great.

“We’re pretty excited once we put it out on Facebook, we’ve had nothing but a positive reaction from the community,” said Mckenna

The Aquatic Zoo will be limited to 250 per session. Staffing is also down at the water park, Mckenna said. The staff is ready to follow health guidelines set by the state.

“Our employees working the guest services areas will wearing mask,” Mckenna said. “We’re encouraging guests when they aren’t in the pools wear mask when possible and follow CDC guidelines and IDPH guidelines.”

Mayor John Lewis was shocked his team was able to reopen the pool. He said the team has been working day and night to get it prepped for its opening day.

Lewis said he’s very thankful for the tax paying dollars from the city’s residents.

“The citizens subsidize these seasonal events, by a large amount of money, but they expect something for their taxpayer dollars. The financial impact has never been a concern whether we break even or lose money, you know we provide this for the citizens they are paying taxes and deserve this,” said Lewis.

If you are interested in tickets for the pool, things are a lot different than the past years.

“Tickets have to be purchased at the gate, there’s no reservation system and no pre-pay. So for the 11 o’clock session, people will be able to start purchasing for entry at 10:30. Everybody will receive a wristband so our staff knows they are supposed to be in for that session and then for the 4 o’clock session we’ll start selling them at 3 o clock,” said Mckenna

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