SIOUX FALLS (KELO) – We have some good news for swimmers! Sioux Falls city pools will open to the public in a week and a half.
Last year they didn’t open because of the pandemic. And just a few weeks ago, because of a lifeguard shortage, there was a chance some pools might have to remain closed even longer.
Warmer weather means it will soon be the perfect time to make a splash at Sioux Falls pools.
But earlier this year there was concern on whether or not they’d open on time due to a lack of seasonal employees- especially lifeguards.
“With us not being open last year we didn’t have that pool of returners coming in, so that really put a dent in the number of people that we had to rely on to come work for us again this summer, and so as a result of that we were just not getting applications, our numbers were lagging behind what they normally would be that time of year,” director of Parks and Recreation, City of Sioux Falls, Don Kearney said.
The city was able to offer a wage increase to employees which Kearney says played a roll in getting people to apply.
“As a result of that we have a lot more applications in, and I wouldn’t say we are at where we would normally be at this time but certainly have enough to open,” Kearney said.
In fact, they usually try to hire more people even after opening.
“You never really feel like you’re full staff because things change and kids lives change, they take a different job or they end up not being able to be in town for the summer so we are always looking for kids,” recreation program coordinator, Jean Pearson said.
Now staff will begin training and pool-goers will soon be able to dive into summer.
“Last summer was tough, when we elected to not open the outdoor pools that was a tough communication to send out to our staff, but we’ve got a great crew of kids coming in, a lot of new faces, which is fun, and some young people that are looking to stay with us for a number of years,” Pearson said.
Starting Monday you can stop by the pools to buy swim passes from 1-7. This is something new they’re offering to help people avoid lines on opening day. Pools open May 28th.
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