Still no splashing

Children enjoy the newly installed splash pad at Crestview Park in Fruitland in August of 2017. The city’s splash parks won’t be opening until sometime during the summer, a decision made by the council during its last meeting.

FRUITLAND - In keeping with the Idaho Gov. Brad Little’s Stages of Rebound plan, the city of Fruitland developed their own checklist for which city amenities are set to open during which stage.

The city’s plans align with Gov. Little’s updated protocols for reopening splash pads and outdoor pools; Such can reopen in stage three, which is tentatively scheduled for May 30-June 12.

Per Little’s order, each stage is subject to testing and infection rates and if an upward trend occurs the next phase would be delayed. Idaho is in stage two of the plan as of May 16.

Via email on May 14, City Administrator Rick Watkins said the concern is that there’s no guarantee users of the splash pad would keep their distance from one another.

“The thought is there is no way of regulating the actual numbers of people that may be using the splash pads or congregating to watch at any time. If so, we would have to provide personnel to monitor the social distancing aspects,” said Watkins. “The splash pads are easy to control; we just don’t activate the water systems.”

That’s not to say kids can’t still go on the swings and slides; Watkins said the city’s simply telling folks to know the risks.

“We have only recommended people be wary of using the playground equipment. Use has not been banned. Same with the picnic shelters. We have never said don’t use them; we’ve only decided not to ‘reserve’ them for anyone so as not to encourage groups from getting together.”

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