TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)-Twin Falls City leaders emphasized continued social distancing as they prepare for the the second phase of Rebound Idaho next week. The city manager, parks and recreation director, and two city councilmen updated media and citizens via social media on Friday on the current state of the city and looking ahead to more openings possibly next week. City Manager Travis Rothweiler said people should continue social distancing, but at the same time take advantage of the most recent openings.

City Councilman Craig Hawkins said the city has developed a fluid plan given the recent hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic to address the now 343 delinquent utility accounts worth about $80,000. Letters will be sent out to those accounts to set up an agreement to to make up the payments by May 15, for some and June 15, for others. All delinquent accounts should be paid up by July 15 or city utilities, water and sewer, will be turned off. Rothweiler said they will work with people as long as they show an effort to make good on the late payments.

The city is preparing for Phase-2 that will allow indoor recreation facilities to reopen and restaurants to open their dine-in areas with reduced capacity under social distancing guidelines. Twin Falls City Parks and Recreation Director Wendy Davis said as it pertains to reopening some programs she is treating the department like a business and will follow the same guidelines provided to private companies.

Both Davis and City Councilman Greg Lanting said it may be some time before the city splash pads and pool will reopen, including Dierkes Lake to prevent large groups of people. There is a possibility for pools to open for lab swims in the second phase, but it still posses some challenges. "Obviously the water is safe, there is no problem with pool water. Its more the locker rooms and the hand railings and making sure that the staff can be trained and can get close together to train, that's part of the problem too," said Davis. All trails and parks, including play equipment, have stayed open since a statewide stay-at-home order was put in place in late March through April. Rothweiler said the city decided to leave the decision to use play equipment up to the personal responsibility of the parent and the difficulty enforcing a closure.

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