(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Grab your floaties because St. Joseph's Park and Recreation Department said public pools will be open this summer, but at a limited capacity.
The COVID-19 pandemic kept both the Aquatic Center and Krug pool closed last year, but not this year. Those excited to get back to a more traditional summer lounging by the pool can plan for opening day on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, weather permitting.
However, the pandemic will still force some changes poolside.
Pool goers shouldn't have a hard time finding a lawn chair in the shade this season as Parks and Rec said they plan to move forward with limiting the capacity of residents this summer.
"We're talking about having to do sessions instead of just having open swim all day long. That way, we could allow more people to take advantage of the pools instead of allowing a smaller number of people spending all day at the pool. It allows more people to spend 3-4 hours at the pool," said Chuck Kempf, Director of St. Joseph Parks and Recreation Department.
Parts of the Aquatic Center will also stay closed. The lap pool won't be open due to structural issues, but the lazy river and activity pool will remain open on the east side of the park.
Before swimmers can spend their warm sunny days taking a dip in the pool, the city said they're struggling to find lifeguards. Kempf said they've only received 18 applications so far. To encourage more people to apply, the city is upping the pay by $2. Kempf said starting pay varies by experience.
An exciting water feature that doesn't need lifeguards is the new and upcoming splash pad at Hyde Park. Parks and Rec said residents should mark their calendar for the middle of June for opening day.