Summer is officially here, and it’s time to go for a swim. But those planning to head to Lincoln’s public pools might want to check the schedule before they head out the door. 

Staff shortages, specifically lifeguards and swimming instructors at outdoor pools, are impacting Lincoln’s programming. While these types of shortages have been common in other Niagara municipalities, Lincoln hadn’t been affected until this year. Modifications in the schedule have been put into place to prioritize the most important and impactful programs.

According to the town of Lincoln, the aquatics sector has long faced issues with recruiting and retaining qualified staff to lifeguard and deliver programming, which worsened during the pandemic as pool closures and other public health mandates laid off staff and organizations were unable to host aquatic leadership training programs.

Programs with higher attendance were given priority when planning for the season. The town also took into account affordable access to community programming availability at the Allan F. Gretsinger pool and Jordan Lions pool.

They wanted to ensure the operating season length remained unchanged from previous years at each pool — including operating on statutory holidays — and that free leisure swims will continue to be offered at a minimum of one pool during declared heat alerts.

Lincoln’s associate director of recreation and culture, Sarah Ane, said both pools are going to continue to open with their yearly programming, and the town wants to make sure everyone across the community can still access the pools.

“We will still be operating on those key days that are important to our community,” Ane said. “Such as statutory holidays and if there are heat alerts, free leisure swims will be continuing at least one of the pools.”

She added that no programs have been cut this summer, but some programs won’t run as often at both pools.

“I think that any time that you have to reduce programming, there’s always going to be an impact felt. We would have to offer those programs if they weren’t utilized. But I think that the impact would be more if we chose to close a pool or didn’t operate a pool at all,” Ane said.

The Allan F. Gretsinger pool on 4361 Central Ave. in Beamsville opened on June 3, while the Jordan Lions pool, located at 2793 Fourth Ave. in Jordan, should open on July 1. Both pools will stay open until Labour Day.

“We looked at multiple scenarios that we continue to operate as much capacity as we can at both pools, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

By Beatriz Baleeiro, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Jun 26, 2023 at 15:26

This item reprinted with permission from   Grimsby Lincoln News   Grimsby, Ontario
Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated

Comments are Welcome - Leave a reply below - Posts are moderated