Plans for pool openings, Fourth of July event move forward in The Woodlands

Woodlands pool swim
Several The Woodlands Township pools will open June 6. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Several The Woodlands Township pools will open June 6. (Courtesy Fotolia)

Seven village pools in The Woodlands will open with 25% capacity under current social distancing guidelines, and July 4 fireworks could be salvaged with a drive-in concept, according to decisions made at a May 27 meeting.

The Woodlands Township board of directors accepted the recommendations of Parks and Recreation Director Chris Nunes for both activities and set new pool fees for the season at the videoconference meeting.

The township has 126 trained lifeguards for the pools and 33 who formerly worked for the township and are just awaiting final paperwork to rejoin staff, he said. Additional guards were needed to help sanitize the pool areas, and bringing in new guards is additionally complicated by the type of training required, which normally requires close physical contact, Nunes said.

Additionally, pool fees will change from $6 to $5 for resident day passes and $12 to $10 for nonresident day passes. Season pass rates will remain at $40 for residents and $120 for nonresidents. The special fee categories for day cares, groups and swim team members were among those also removed for the season.

"It doesn't grant any special right of entry if the pools are full," Vice Chair Bruce Rieser noted at the meeting, meaning that once a facility is about to reach 25% capacity that preference is not given to a particular category of passholder. That capacity could be expanded or further restricted by the governor's orders throughout the season, the board acknowledged.

The township received no public comment during the public hearing for the fees. The opening date for pools given at the meeting was June 6.

Another item Nunes brought before the board was a plan for a replacement event for the originally planned July 4 festivities, which were canceled at a previous meeting. The current plan being examined includes a concept in which residents could view fireworks from their cars, he said. Parking at area lots and campuses could allow for about 15,000 spaces, according to Nunes' presentation at the meeting. The event would cost about $150,000, largely due to the cost of fireworks, security, cleanup and advertising, he said.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.