County to improve pool closure notifications
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Cowetans who headed to the Lynch Park Pool in Newnan on Monday to enjoy the last day the pool was open for the season were met with an empty pool and a locked gate, despite partly sunny skies — and Facebook postings indicating the pool was open.
The pool was closed at 12:15 on Monday because of weather, according to Coweta County officials.
However, a posting on the pool's Facebook site, made after the closure, indicated the pool was open.
One Cowetan posted a question on the Facebook page at 12:24 p.m. asking if the pool was open.
The page's moderator posted "yes, 10- 4" at 12:47 — 30 minutes after the pool closed. At 1:39 the woman posted she had driven from Sharpsburg to the pool only to find the gate locked.
There were other posts on the page from Cowetans who arrived only to find a locked gate.
"It was simply a lack of proper communication," said Tom Corker, Coweta communications manager. "An employee at the recreation department maintains the Lynch Park Pool Facebook page. The page should have been updated when the decision was made to alter the Labor Day hours of operation because of weather. It was not.
"We are sorry for any mix-up that caused problems for anyone's holiday plans."
Corker said county officials will work to "correct any future posting etiquette so that Lynch Pool page posts will reflect the most current pool information."
There are also plans to connect the pool's telephone number to the overall county phone system "so that message updates can be immediately made concerning the pool's operation." The change will allow for recorded messages, and should be in effect by the time the pool opens next summer, Corker said.
Though the weather was fine in the afternoon, there had been some rain and thunder and lightning that morning, Corker said. The rain and thunder eased up and the pool opened at 10, as scheduled, but then there was more thunder and lightning.
The weather policy is that everyone must get out of the pool and go to their cars if there is thunder or lightning. People can begin swimming again 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder or an hour after the last lightning strike. However, if there is still thunder and/or lightning after that waiting period, the pool is closed for the day.