Parks and Recreation understaffed as pool season approaches but have a plan

There are 46 days until Memorial Day and the traditional opening of municipal pools, and the warm weather this weekend may have many planning ahead for how they will cool off in the near future. 

The Charlottesville Planning Commission this week got updates on preparations in the city’s Parks and Recreation Department to get ready for the summer. Overall, the department has some vacancies to fill. 

“We are at least twelve full-time equivalents down,” said Planning Commissioner Hosea Mitchell. “We’re working to fill those but it’s been quite the effort.” 

In recent years, the city has had to alternate opening days at the two outdoor pools at Washington Park and Meade Park due to a lack of lifeguards. While staffing challenges remain, this year will be different.

“We’re a lot short on lifeguards but we have a mitigation plan,” Mitchell said. “It looks like we are going to outsource or contract out the support for Onesty Pool (at Meade Park) and we will then directly staff Washington Park and Smith Pool with our own people.” 

More on this topic as the spring comes close to giving way to summer.

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 13, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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