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Calling all lifeguards, pool might not open this weekend

September 02, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Northside Pool might not open for Labor Day weekend, the traditional last weekend of the year for the popular municipal swimming pool, due to a shortage of lifeguards.

Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger told the Borough Council on Wednesday that he has two lifeguards to work but that he needs four to open the pool, especially on a busy weekend like Labor Day.

Hamberger said he had been assured by the lifeguards who worked at the pool all summer that they would stay on duty until the end of the season. But the opening of high schools and colleges, late-summer vacations and some school sports events have drawn lifeguards from the pool to other activities, he said.

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He said he had to close the pool early Sunday because of the shortage of lifeguards.

"I've been on the phone trying to find lifeguards," Hamberger said.

The pool normally operates with four lifeguards and a manager, he said.

The pool usually is open until the last weekend before school starts, closes for that week, then reopens for the three-day Labor Day weekend, Hamberger said.

Patrons may show up this weekend and be met with a locked gate, something that Councilman Dick George said is unacceptable.

"There's no reason to have a public pool as nice as this and not have it open," George told Hamberger. "People tell me how much they enjoy the pool and how much they are using it."

George said residents paid membership fees for the entire summer.

He said he wants the borough council to meet with the borough's recreation board in the near future to ensure that this doesn't happen next year.

Hamberger said he wants to meet with officials at the YMCA to discuss the possibility of a joint pool management agreement to share lifeguards.

"They're willing to talk about it," Hamberger said. "We share the same goals."

The borough spent more than $1.1 million last year on a major renovation of the pool, adding two water slides and other amenities.

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