Ashwaubomay Lake closed for this summer
By Kevin Boneske
ASHWAUBENON – Ashwaubomay Lake is not scheduled to open this summer over concerns about the possible spread of COVID-19.
After hearing a report Tuesday, May 26, on the status of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department facilities and programs from Director Rex Mehlberg, the Ashwaubenon village board voted to keep Ashwaubomay Lake closed until further notice, pending more information about how the virus acts in open bodies of water not chlorinated.
Mehlberg said chlorine in pools is able to kill the virus, but that wouldn’t apply to Ashwaubomay Lake.
“The lake is our challenge,” he said. “The lake is filled with fresh water from the Green Bay water system, so it’s the same water that comes out of your tap… We have different diffusers buried throughout the lake that blow up air to keep the water moving. However, the water is not chlorinated. Again, it’s a swimming lake.”
With the lake not able to be chlorinated, Mehlberg said the question remains how COVID-19 acts in an open body of water, for which the department doesn’t have an answer.
“There’s nothing that says it will stay, but there’s nothing that says it will go away,” he said.
With the newness of this virus, Mehlberg said “there is not enough information out there at this time to allow us the comfort level in keeping everyone safe.”
He said the best decision to make is to not open, and the department announced Wednesday, May 27, the lake will be closed this summer and hopefully be able to reopen in 2021.
Ashwaubenon Blast cancelled
Board members were informed by Trustee Mark Williams the Ashwaubenon Blast, which began in 2015 as the 50th anniversary celebration of Ashwaubenon High School and has since been held as an annual event in August, will not take place this year because of concerns about possibly losing money.
“That’s a shame,” said Village President Mary Kardoskee. “That’s always such a great event.”
Because the event won’t be taking place in 2020, the board decided to accept and place on file a resolution that would have allowed the sale of beer Aug. 8 for the Ashwaubenon Blast at Ashwaubomay Park.
Village Manager Allison Swanson said the next Ashwaubenon Blast is scheduled for Aug. 14, 2021.