Lions Beach to stay open

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Marcia Nelesen
Tuesday, August 27, 2013

JANESVILLE--Lions Beach will remain open through Labor Day in response to unusually high temperatures.

Recreation Director Shelley Slapak said she “wanted to be proactive with the heat. I knew last week the weather was going to be hot, and I knew the wading pool(s) would be closed Sunday.”

Rockport Pool closed two weeks ago.

Lions Beach had been scheduled to close last Sunday, as well.

Temperatures are expected to hover in the high 80s and 90s through Sunday.

“We have gotten a lot of calls, with the heat,” Slapak said. “It's nice to be able to tell people there is still an open (water venue) in Janesville.”

Slapak's initial thought had been to keep a wading pool open. Because of cooler weather this summer, she saved some money in hourly wages.

But Slapak could not find enough lifeguards to staff the facility. Lifeguards usually are students who this week are leaving for college or have other activities planned.

Lions Beach is a “swim at your own risk” facility, so the cost to keep it open is less than at other city water facilities because it's not watched by lifeguards.

There was no reason the city couldn't keep the beach open, Slapak said.

Slapak will keep the bathrooms open for another week, and staff will visit daily to pick up trash and sample water.

Budgeted money is Slapak's limiting factor.

In 2009, the Janesville City Council cut facility hours by a week to save money, she said.

This is the first year unseasonably warm weather presented an issue, though, Slapak said.

Swim hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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