After initially announcing that the swimming pool at the Providence Municipal Golf and Recreation Center would open on June 29, mayor Doug Hammers announced on Monday that the decision had now been made to not open the pool for the 2020 season.
But it was not finances or the Coronavirus that led to that decision, it was the city’s inability to locate enough certified individuals to staff the pool.
“Due to the inability to get enough certified lifeguards, the pool at Providence Municipal Golf and Recreation Center will remain closed for the rest of this season,” Hammers posted to Facebook on Monday.
In order to operate the pool, the facility needs around ten certified lifeguards to work part-time.
The city has spent the last two weeks seeking certified lifeguards, but had been unable to locate enough. According to sources with the city, many had taken other jobs believing that the pool would not be allowed by Governor Andy Beshear to open this year.
Hammers said the city did have a number of inquiries about the jobs, but when they were told they had to pay for their own certification, most lost interest in the job that pays $7.50 to $8.50 per hour.
In order to be certified as a lifeguard, an individual must complete a qualified training course. City officials were able to locate a facility that was holding the class later this week, but at a cost of $200 per student. The city said it would not cover the cost, meaning potential lifeguards had to pay that money themselves.
With the course being held on Thursday, it seems unlikely at this point that the city will find enough interested candidates in time.