The last words anyone wants to hear during a heat wave are “Pool Closed.”
Morris Township officials are scrambling to avoid uttering that phrase heading into the Labor Day weekend.
Trouble is, there may not be enough lifeguards for both the Streeter and Ginty municipal pools — which could mean shutting down Ginty, according to messages from Township Parks and Recreation Director Bill Foelsch to residents on Tuesday.
“A large percentage of our lifeguarding staff has returned to college or currently has other family and school obligations that prevent them from working the final week of the swim season,” Foelsch wrote on Tuesday afternoon.
He explained that a minimum of four lifeguards is required for each pool.
“For the remainder of this week we have less than four lifeguards available to open Ginty Pool,” necessitating its premature closure, Foelsch said initially. Consolidating staff at Streeter was anticipated to keep most amenities open at that site.
A few hours later, however, Foelsch announced both facilities would remain open, though potentially with fewer services.
“The immediate feedback from the membership is that even if we cannot open all amenities at each pool based on safe lifeguard staffing levels, it is preferable and more equitable to have both pools open each day, even if some amenities are not open,” Foelsch said.
Both pools will open as normal, this Wednesday through Friday, from 11 am to 7:30 pm, he indicated.
“We anticipate that we will not be able to open the deep water areas during these times; however the wading pool, family swim bays, and lap lanes will be open,” Foelsch said.
The director said he is seeking lifeguards from private services and other sources.
“Labor Day Weekend hours at the two swim pools still are being assessed,” Foelsch wrote.