Submitted by Alta Long
* The pool is cleaned and filled!
* Many lifeguard positions are filled & lifeguards are being trained for certification
* Pool passes will go on sale Monday, May 24 at the Water Walk-up on the south side of City Hall; or through our website or email with on-line payment (can be mailed or held at the pool desk)
* The season opening date and hours of operation will be announced soon!
* The offering and availability of swim lessons and pool parties is dependent on trained lifeguards and will be announced at a later date
Note: Due to the uncertainty of the pool season COVID impacts, and a shortage of certified lifeguards, pool hours of operation and season opening date are not yet set. Pool entry passes have been modified to account for the uncertainty of the season operations. All pool passes must be purchased at the Water Department walk-up at City Hall, or be requested in advance through the tuscola.org website. Entry pass cards will be issued loaded with the number of entries purchased. Entry card passes may be used by anyone with access to the card.
1. Daily entry, paid at the pool at the time of entry – $5 per person entering the pool area
2. Entry card pass (purchase a number of pool entries to be used by any person holding the entry card)
* 10 entries for $30
* 20 entries for $50
* 50 entries for $100
3. Individual season unlimited entry pass – $35 per person (issued to one individual only, individual photo printed on the card)
Due to switching to a printed card system for pool passes, passes will be sold at the water walk-up at city hall only. We will announce pool pass selling hours in the evening or on weekends at some point in the near future. Also, and on-line option will be available beginning Monday, May 24
We still do not have sufficient certified lifeguards to be open for the full schedule of hours/days. We are actively recruiting individuals who are interested and capable of passing lifeguard training classes, and are hosting classes as they are available. For that reason, we are still unsure of the opening date and operating hours, however, we are sure we will open for some season!
Lifeguard certification is good for two years, so we usually keep a steady supply of certified lifeguards by helping with certification/recertifications every year. However, with COVID in 2020, most pools were not open and most lifeguard certification classes did not happen. That means we (and nearly every other public pool) begins this year with zero certified guards and most certification classes full. That is the primary reason we are behind schedule for staffing.
The pool season usually begins with the end of the TCUSD school year, as most staff are school related. This year school staff are not done with their year until June 2. We will not be ready to open then, but hopefully soon thereafter.
We had some comments on why we are not selling family passes this year. Primarily, since this is such an uncertain season due to COVID protocols (which are still currently in place for IDPH licensed public pool facilities) and the lifeguard shortage, the unlimited family season pass option would open up more issues if we are unable to get enough open hours to make it worth the cost. Since the number of swimmers in the pool affects the number of lifeguards in the chair, a system of individual or entry based passes is better operationally. Additionally, there have been many issues/abuses of the family pass in the past and it is just not a business that the City needs to be in defining who is family for whom.
The entry card passes will be honored both in the 21 and the 22 pool season, if we are able to have each of those seasons open. We are offering a reduced price for the individual season pass if a person plans to visit the pool as often as they can. This type of pass will not carry over to the 22 season.
The bottom line on this pool season is that it nearly didn’t happen! Every year, we cross our fingers that mechanical or structural failures will not happen to the 50+ year old facility! When the minimum wage increase was passed, we thought that would be the biggest issue for our pool, and it is certainly an issue as this year the cost of operating the pool will increase roughly 30 percent due to minimum wage increases since the 2019 season. But the biggest issue this year is certified staffing. Until this week, we only had one certified guard available. We have had several certified this week, so we now have enough for opening in some limited capacity. We have a few others with classes set up for the first week of June, so hopefully we can get to a number that gives us a pretty full schedule for the season.
My message for Tuscolians with an affinity for their community pool… Please support it, please understand why difficult decisions have to be made, and please realize that it is the community that makes or breaks a community pool.