County will close pools a week early this summer

The county will shorten its weekday summer pool program by four days this year, saving close to $9,000.

The weekday program will end Aug. 13. Pools and beaches will stay open on weekends until Labor Day, Sept. 6.

The decision affects Shandon, San Miguel, Templeton, Santa Margarita Lake, Cayucos, Cambria, Oceano, Lopez Lake Beach, and Cayucos Beach

A shortage of lifeguards and dwindling use of the pools at summer’s end prompted the decision, according to General Services Director Janette Pell.

“Historically, pool visitation has been lean during the last few weeks of August,” Pell wrote in an e-mail to The Tribune.

“This is primarily because families are taking last minute vacations, getting ready to go back to school, or have already returned to school,” she wrote.

“In addition, it has been a continuing problem to staff the pools because our lifeguards are likewise getting ready to go back to school or have already returned to school,” Pell wrote.

She estimated the savings for the four days at $8,856.

Pell said the program budget varies from year to year, location to location, and according to circumstances.

However, she added, “the annual operating average cost for the pool program over the last six fiscal years is $240,000. Only a portion of these costs is reimbursed through contributions and program fees.” She said the figure does not include administrative staff time.