Manluk Centre, Wetaskiwin (Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer)

Manluk Centre, Wetaskiwin (Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer)

Manluk Centre to close Sundays this fall

The City of Wetaskiwin currently has a lifeguard shortage forcing the change in service levels

Starting Oct. 16, the Manluk Centre will be closing on Sundays until at least November 30. The City of Wetaskiwin states these new temporary facility hours are to help alleviate pressures caused by an ongoing lifeguard shortage.

City council approved the reduction in service levels at their regular council meeting on Oct. 11.

The city currently employs two full time lifeguards and a rotation of part-time lifeguards however, over the last six weeks, nine lifeguards have resigned due to gaining employment elsewhere or to pursue post-secondary education.

This has left the pool short staffed and unable to adequately cover shifts.

The choice to close the Manluk Centre on Sundays was determined to be the best short-term option given that it will not impact scheduled programming including swim lessons, fitness classes and swim club.

“This change in level in service is being made with safety in mind; not only the safety of our facility users but also our staff,” said the city’s manager of recreation, Natasha Grant.

Grant states that the lifeguard staff have been working overtime and are facing burn out if the shortage continues long-term.

Wetaskiwin is one of several Alberta municipalities facing a lifeguard shortage. This is partly due to the limited opportunities for lifeguard training courses over the last two years because of COVID-19.

The Manluk Centre’s new temporary facility hours are:

• Monday to Friday: 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Saturday: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

• Sunday: Closed

City administration plans to increase its lifeguard recruiting efforts and potentially increase the number of full-time lifeguard positions. Currently there is one part-time Lifeguard II position posted at Wetaskiwin.ca/jobs.

Administration will present city council with alternative measures to facility closures and other staffing strategies at the regular Nov. 28, meeting.



shaela.dansereau@pipestoneflyer.ca

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