It is with regret that I will be forced to close the City Pool after August 20th. I know that August is usually the hottest month in Mason but the problem is that we are losing all our lifeguards to school. Without lifeguards I cannot open the pool. It's unfortunate since weather permitting, it would otherwise be possible to keep the pool open evenings & weekend afternoons through October.
Three of the seven lifeguards will be Seniors at Mason I.S.D. but would not commit to even part time work due to athletics & heavy academic schedules. The others are going away to college or working elsewhere. I am hoping that some of the adult swimmers in Mason will apply for a lifeguard position next spring & would be willing to take the lifeguard test in Brady. We have a wonderful facility in the City pool that could be used 5 to 6 months of the year if we had proper staffing.
Having said that, I was surprised how the usage of the pool has tapered off as the summer has progressed. Early in the season we often had more than 25 swimmers for the 10:30 to 1:30 session & sometimes nearly triple that for the 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. session. Because our capacity was 60 swimmers we had to turn people away. It seems that shortly after I was able to get approval to increase our capacity to 75 swimmers our attendance began to decline.
This is my first season as City pool manager & I am learning more as time progresses. I have been a lifeguard, head lifeguard, swim team coach, & swimming instructor, but never a pool manager. The years I did these things were 1960 to 1964. For the past 44 years I have earned my living in swimming pool maintenance & repair & for the last 40 years I have owned & operated my own business.
It is my hope that next season we can open the pool a little earlier & keep it open longer. I would like to have more hours for fitness & adult swimming. We don't need 2 hours per day for the routine maintenance & we don't need 4 lifeguards for the first open session. These are all things I have learned in my first season as Pool manager.
I know there were times this season when my lifeguards were not taking care of business. I have learned that one can expect such behavior from 17 to 19 year olds. Expect it perhaps but not tolerate it. Their responsibilities are to great to allow for distractions. I intend to be less tolerant next season & with the possible addition of more mature lifeguards we WILL improve next year.