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Peabody council worried about lack of lifeguards

Staff writer

Peabody city councilmen were unsure at Monday’s regular meeting if the city’s pool would open this year, but agreed they needed to hire enough lifeguards just in case.

“Even if we can open it in the future, we have to have staff to be able to open the pool,” councilman Jay Gfeller said. “I don’t know how much thought has gone into that so far.”

Last year’s pool manager, Rachel Wattson, was unsure if the pool’s most experienced lifeguards would be returning, councilman Lindsay Hutchison said.

“She doesn’t know if our most senior lifeguard is even still interested in a position this summer,” she said. “That has left it a little more up in the air, so I think the personnel committee really needs to do some talking in a quick manner.”

Other students are interested in lifeguarding but can’t afford $200 for a certification class, Hutchison said.

Councilmen approved advertising to draw in more applications, which will be important since finding classes for lifeguards who are not already certified will be more difficult, mayor Tom Spencer said.

“Part of it is that most lifeguard training classes have been canceled or postponed,” he said. “They would have normally happened in March or April.”

The pool also is in need of several repairs. With rain expected much of this week, councilman Rick Reynolds said next week will be the likeliest time to start filling chips and cracks.

The city needs to decide what will happen with the pool because the Mid Kansas Swim League is trying to determine what to do with its summer season, Hutchison said.

Purchase of a 60-inch lifeguard chair was approved for a maximum of $900, which will replace one of the pool’s two chairs. Parts from the old chair will be reused to fix the pool’s other chair.

Peabody emergency medical service’s water bill will be waived at its new location in the 500 block of W. 9th St. The building, formerly Propane Central, is owned by Peabody Fire District No. 4, and being leased out for free.

“I think there will be hardly any water use there, just for cleaning,” councilman Travis Wilson said.

The city does not charge Peabody Fire Department for water either.

Last modified May 13, 2020

 

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