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Fairmont reopening city parks

FAIRMONT — Fairmont’s parks and recreational amenities will open today, just in time for the long Memorial Day weekend that serves as the traditional summer kickoff.

The opening encompasses park playground equipment, restrooms, portable toilets, the dog park, the skate park, the fish-cleaning building and all athletic courts, but use of the facilities is still based on a maximum group of 10 people, in accordance with the governor’s current executive order. The mini golf course by the Fairmont Aquatic Park also will be open, but patrons must provide their own equipment.

The city’s management staff made the decision to open the facilities after considering feedback from the Fairmont Park Board and citizens.

The only two recreational amenities that remain closed at this time are the Fairmont Aquatic Park and all shelter houses in the parks.

Whether to fully or partially open the Aquatic Park this summer or keep it closed was discussed by the City Council on May 11. Some surrounding communities already have opted to close their pool facilities for the season while others are still debating the matter.

The council will continue discussion on the fate of the Aquatic Park at its June 8 meeting.

Troy Nemmers, city engineer/public works director, said plans to open the park’s shelter houses are being developed to highlight social distancing and limit group sizes to 10.

“That will be the challenge,” he said. “We’re going to be slowly opening the open-air shelters and trying to space things out a little bit to help people comply with the rules.”

However, the city’s rental shelters will remain closed to the public until further guidance is received on group gatherings.

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