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Green Bay pools close for the summer after difficult year of staffing shortages

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Posted at 8:19 PM, Aug 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-26 02:26:15-04

GREEN BAY (NBC 26) — Believe it or not, school is almost here.

That means Green Bay pools are now officially closed for the summer, and it was a challenging year for the city.

It might not have been the most picture-perfect day at the pool.

"It doesn't stop the kids, though," Green Bay pool goer Angela Cygan said.

And the overcast skies and cooler temperatures did not stop others from taking a dip in the water one more time.

"Little sad that summer is over, the sun," Cygan said. "But looking forward to fall, too."

Let's not forget pool goers like Cygan can go for a swim because the city had the staffing to keep Joannes Aquatic Center open for most of the summer.

But staffing was a challenge all season.

"We were just basically surviving at our two pools with the staff that we had," parks supervisor Ann Moeller said.

Moeller says the Resch Aquatic Center opened for the summer on time in early June. Joannes opened a couple of weeks later. But Moeller says Colburn Pool couldn't open up for everybody.

"We tried multiple times," Moeller said. "We were close. But we couldn't get there."

Moeller says lifeguards start with a wage of $12.02 an hour.

But she thinks the struggle to find enough staff goes beyond perhaps just the pay.

Moeller says the city raised wages quite a bit for lifeguards this year.

"We're just going to have to go back to the drawing board and see what we can do to make these positions more attractive in the future," Moeller said.

But at least the city could open most of its pools.

"We were really excited for that," Moeller said.

So that pool goers could enjoy another summer of splashes.

"Trying to make it a last day," Cygan said. "And wait 'till next summer."

Just like this year, Moeller says the hope is for the pools to open on the second Saturday of June of next year.

The Resch Aquatic Center closed early for the summer three weeks ago due to staffing shortages. The city merged its pool staff together so that Joannes could stay open.

Moeller says the city was short of about 20 lifeguards to open all three pools.