A shortage of lifeguards is causing the city to delay the opening of city pools this year, and some aren’t scheduled to open at all.

City pools traditionally open Memorial Day weekend. This year, however, the Albert-Oakland Family Aquatic Center won’t open until June 9, and it will have limited hours. The Douglass Family Aquatic Center is scheduled to open on July 1, but only if there are enough lifeguards to staff it.

The Lake of the Woods Pool is scheduled to remain closed all summer.

“We’re experiencing the same challenges with hiring staff that many are facing right now,” Parks and Recreation Director Mike Griggs said in a news release. “If we don’t have adequate staffing at our pools to ensure safety for our pool users, then that leaves us no choice but to shorten our pool season and possibly not open some facilities. These are difficult decisions, but we are hopeful we will still be able to add staff for the summer.”

When the Albert-Oakland pool opens June 9, its hours will be limited to noon to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays.

The Parks and Recreation Department needs a minimum of 70 lifeguards, according to the news release. It is offering four training sessions for those who would like to be certified. They will be:

  • Tuesday-Thursday.
  • June 4-6.
  • June 14-16.
  • June 18-20.

The sessions are free to those who are employed by the city. Guards must be at least 15. You can register by calling (573) 874-7460. The city pays its lifeguards $10.30 per hour, and they work from 10 to 28 hours per week.

Stephens Lake Beach, the spraygrounds at Stephens Lake and Flat Branch and Douglass spraygrounds are all scheduled to open next Friday. Little Mates Cove at Twin Lakes will remain closed this summer because it needs repairs for which the city has not budgeted.

  • Photo Editor and Photographer Student Staff hmhntr@umsystem.edu

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