Skip to Content

Governor allocates funding to help Colorado public swimming pools stay open

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- For the third straight year, public swimming pools have dealt with a shortage of lifeguards and fewer operating hours because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But some assistance was announced this week by Gov. Jared Polis, who has allocated $350,000 to help public pools create more workforce flexibility and provide new lifeguard training to help pools remain open and properly staffed.

The money is coming from the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Office of Economic Development, and International Trade's Outdoor Recreation Industry Office.

KRDO

Colorado Springs is applying for funding on behalf of the YMCA, which operates public pools for the city; the city seeks the maximum individual allocation of $25,000.

Applications for funding are due Tuesday, giving cities only a week to prepare; recipients will be announced Friday and the funding lasts through Sept. 30.

KRDO

The impact of the situation was visible Friday at Monument Valley Park's outdoor swimming pool; a long line of waiting swimmers formed when the pool reached capacity and switched to a block schedule limiting visits from 60 to 90 minutes.

KRDO

In allocating funding, Polis is emphasizing help primarily for outdoor pools which are in greatest demand during summer.

“We just roll with things and try not to get too upset by anything," said Madison Weldon, who was in the line with her two kids at the Monument Valley Pool. "But I was shocked. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to wait in line for a pool. So to have those opportunities available to us means the world."

KRDO

Last summer, the indoor pool at the Southeast Family YMCA on Jet Wing Drive closed because of a lack of lifeguards.

KRDO

"Pre-pandemic, we were open from 5 a.m. until 8 or 9 p.m. every single day," said the YMCA's Murphy Barry. "Since the pandemic, we have had to do some cutbacks in the middle of the day and on Saturdays. And just this summer, we've had to take cutbacks on our Sunday hours so that we can support our outdoor pool facilities. Normally, we'd have 215 lifeguards but we have 175 this summer."

KRDO

The YMCA operates the city's six outdoor pools and five indoor pools.

Article Topic Follows: Top Stories

Scott Harrison

Scott is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Scott here.

BE PART OF THE CONVERSATION

KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content