At a special meeting Tuesday evening, the Redwood Falls City Council tentatively approved opening the aquatic center on July 1 — depending on whatever orders or guidelines Governor Tim Walz may set or change before then.

Ross Nachreiner, parks and recreation director for the city, told the council, “We cannot open the pool under the governor’s current orders.” It is city staff’s understanding, based on the governor’s guidelines, and discussions with other nearby communities with pools, that if the Redwood Falls Aquatic Center were to open now, it would be limited to allowing in just 10 people at a time.

Earlier this month, Governor Walz unveiled a four-phase plan to gradually reopen Minnesota’s businesses and other ventures. Phase 2 begins Monday, June 1, with businesses such as restaurants and salons being allowed to reopen at reduced capacity.

It is city staff’s understanding that the aquatic center would fall under the category of Phase 3’s”outdoor entertainment such as concerts, movies in the park, and concerts”, which doesn’t have a specific start date.

Other communities with pools in the area are also struggling with the lack of guidance from the governor. Springfield has chosen to close its pool for the season, Willmar is currently hoping to open its pool on July 6, and Marshall plans to open its pool July 1, hoping Governor Walz will allow pools to open by those days.

Finally, the city council approved a motion to set July 1 as an opening date for the Redwood Falls Aquatic Center, but only if Governor Walz allows pools to operate at 25 percent or greater capacity, the minimum that would make the the finances and staffing work.