More staffing needed as long-awaited Lincoln Park Aquatic Center opens in Palmetto

MANATEE COUNTY (WFLA) – Just in time for the vacation weekend, Manatee County is opening up the long-awaited Lincoln Aquatic Center in Palmetto. Members of the group were pushing for the ability for many years.

Manatee County Commissioner Reggie Bellamy, who grew up within the district he represents, instructed 8 On Your Side it’s humbling to look the undertaking come to fruition.

“I am excited for our youth. I am excited for the kids to have an opportunity to have an experience that I did not have when I was growing up here north of the river,” stated Commissioner Bellamy.

The aquatic heart is the county’s first public pool north of the Manatee River.

“The reality is, change is here. I strive on building relationships with my colleagues. They’ve embraced the opportunity to make changes in north river, whether it is the roads, sidewalks or here with the pool,” stated Bellamy.

The county is opening the pool at part capability for the vacation weekend for a cushy opening. After this weekend, open swim classes will happen day by day from midday to 4 p.m. except for Friday, June 3 when the pool might be closed because of the additional staffing wanted all the way through the outlet weekend.

Admission to the ability was once set to be $2 consistent with individual, consistent with consultation. However, previous this week, commissioners voted to waive admission charges for the aquatic heart all through the summer time.

The facility goals to host swim courses one day. However, this present day, they’re suffering to seek out staffing to get them throughout the summer time.

“We are still looking for lifeguards and swim instructors. We are able to open this weekend and through the summer, but we hope to expand our hours at all facilities. In order to do that, we need to get our full staffing levels. We are about 50% right now, but we are hiring at $18.40 an hour. We train for free and certify you, you’ve just got to reach out to our aquatics department and we can train and hire you,” stated Manatee County sport department supervisor Matthew Porter.

Lifeguard shortages are hitting communities around the country. The American Lifeguard Association says about one-third of public parks and swimming pools may stay closed this summer time because of the dearth of lifeguards.

Anyone interested by turning into a lifeguard in Manatee County can to find additional info on-line.

“The goal is to be fully staffed. We are in need for lifeguards. We would like them to come and go through the process so we can hire them and then we can really get into serving our youth as well as potentially some adult programs,” stated Commissioner Bellamy.

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