SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) — For the first time since 2008, admission prices at Sioux City public pools are increasing.
Adult admission in the low-income bracket will rise from $2.80 to $3.20 at Leif and Lewis pools and from $3.40 to $4 at Riverside. Adult general admission will rise from $3.50 to $4 at Leif and Lewis and $4.25 to $5 at Riverside.
John Byrnes is the recreation supervisor for Sioux City Parks and Recreation. He said the city was losing lifeguards to competitors because of wages.
“We noticed that we fell out of competition with not only local businesses that might be paying 15 dollars an hour, like say a grocery store, but also other local pools,” Byrnes said. “So, we needed to get in competition because ultimately if we don’t get lifeguards to create a safe, fun environment at the pools, we can’t stay open.”
We reached out to Siouxlanders on social media for their opinions. Here’s a few of them:
One person echoed Byrnes’s point about needing more lifeguards by saying, “I’m all for paying a bit extra to pay the lifeguards to ensure the safety of the public.”
Other people said these higher costs are on par with other price changes across Siouxland and the U.S., saying “Everything is going up, what’s new?”
Someone added it’s unfortunate for Siouxland’s youth, saying, “Sioux City has nothing cheap for kids to do anymore.”
With these higher admissions, the city is raising starting wages for lifeguards from $9.50 to $12 dollars an hour. Adults will pay anywhere from 40 to 75 cents more for admission depending on which pool they attend. As for residents in a lower income bracket, the city has a program designed to help those families.
“That program has been a little under-utilized,” Byrnes said. “So for example, this past year, we only used about $4,600 dollars of a $10,000 dollar grant to let those that qualify as low income get a book of free pool passes for the entire summer.”
Byrnes said the city is still hoping to add at least 20 more lifeguards this summer and they will help train people interested in being certified. If you’re interested in working as a lifeguard, you can contact John Byrnes at (712) 224-6483 or firstname.lastname@example.org.