The Vernon Aquatic Centre must alter its fee schedule and hours of operation in order to compensate for increased costs associated with additional life guard. (City of Vernon - photo)

Hours trimmed at Vernon pool to cover costs of new lifeguard

To cover costs of additional lifeguard hours recreation services changes pool and fee schedule

Hours at the Vernon Aquatic Centre will be changed as of March 2.

The pool will close a half hour early Monday through Thursday and an hour earlier on Fridays. Afternoon swims throughout the summer months will also be nixed to cover the costs of the additional required lifeguard hours.

Fees will also be increased four per cent at a later date.

The pool requires an additional lifeguard on deck with more than 80 patrons in the water, city director of recreation services Doug Ross told city council Feb. 24.

The change is a requirement that ensures the city is in compliance with national standards, outlined by the Lifesaving Society of Canada.

The cost of the additional 1,300 hours of life-guarding time is an estimated $43,000.

The City of Vernon approved the increases, but its partners in the Recreation Services Facilities and Programming Agreement, including the District of Coldstream and Electoral Areas B and C, did not approve the pool’s requested service level adjustments.

Coldstream funds $6,801 and Areas B and C pay $3,400, while the City of Vernon contributes nearly $30,000.

“The request for additional funding was supported by Vernon city council, but was not approved by the District of Coldstream or Electoral Areas B and C, as they did not want to open the current agreement,” a statement from the City of Vernon read.

To make up for the unexpected $43,000 cost, the pool suggested cutting its operational hours and raising its admission fees would reduce the overall financial burden on its patrons.

“As reducing operating hours drastically or increasing fees significantly would impact participation more than what is advisable, administration is recommending a balanced approach by reducing some operating hours and instituting a moderate fee increase,” Ross wrote in his report to council.

Altering the pool’s operational hours will save around $23,000, while impacting around 9,000 user visits.

The fee increase is expected to make up the remaining $20,000. The fee increase is expected to take effect on April 1, 2020.

“While this is extremely unfortunate, individuals identified as being financially disadvantaged through our Affordable Access Pass program can still receive a 75% discount when attending the normal public swim times,” Ross said.

READ MORE: Vernon pool to see price increase, hours cut

READ MORE: Lumby squad wins wild-card entry to provincials


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Municipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Summerland skeletons carry COVID-19 messages

Heather Pescada’s skeletons, normally displayed at Halloween, are appearing on Facebook and Instagram

First responders continue to rally in support of Kelowna health care workers

Pandosy Street was packed with supporters for the second night in a row

COSAR assists first responders with injured hiker in K.L.O. Creek Park in Kelowna

This is the second incident COSAR has responded to in 24 hours

COSAR rescues two lost hikers from Okanagan Mountain Park

Two male hikers were overdue from a hike they left for on the morning of March 28

Okanagan Spirits donating free sanitizer to those most at risk during COVID-19 pandemic

The Okanagan distillery’s spirits that would have become whisky or gin is now being denatured to make hand sanitizer

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready to be deployed to help with COVID-19 response

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Crucial details of Ottawa’s proposed wage subsidy program expected today

The government has rolled out a bailout package totalling more than $200 billion

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

Most Read