New policy in place for Mingo pool

By Brandon Klein -

The city of Delaware and the YMCA have enacted a new policy to address times when the Jack Florance Pool at Mingo Park reaches peak capacity.

Effective June 22, no one will be admitted onto the campus if the pool itself becomes too crowded, said Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller. The decision will be made by the lifeguards on duty at the time.

The pool can handle about 300 people on its campus with almost half of them in the pool. There are 13 lifeguards with each of them to watch 25 people.

YMCA and city officials said it becomes problematic when lifeguards cannot see the bottom of the pool.

Originally, swimmers who purchased either a membership at the Mingo pool or at the Delaware Community Center YMCA were allowed to enter the campus when it hit capacity. But day camps and day passes were not admitted until capacity decreased or until a later time in the day.

This sparked some backlash from residents and pool-goers on social media. Councilman George Hellinger said it continued to show based on the “discussion threads” he was involved in that there is a need to have a visible separation between the YMCA and the city’s recreation services.

January marked the fifth year that the YMCA has been in charge of managing the community center on Houk Road and the city’s recreation services, including events, programs, and relevant facilities.

“There’s a lot of confusion in the public,” Hellinger said.

He suggested YMCA staff should wear city apparel when conducting city recreation services similar to a traditional contractor.

YMCA officials were not available for comment.

Delaware City Manager R. Thomas Homan said it will be discussed during upcoming negotiations to renew the contract with the YMCA.

According to city records, the city paid the YMCA $253,821 for services in 2016. In 2015, the amount was $196,056.

For 2017, the city budgeted $209,153 for services, according to city records.

By Brandon Klein

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.

Gazette reporter Brandon Klein can be reached by email or on Twitter at @brandoneklein.