Citizens’ Committee hopes to reopen Dakin Pool

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 11:50 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - The recent decision not to re-open one of Bangor’s two public pools due to a lifeguard shortage was met with public opposition at a Bangor City Council meeting tonight.

The Dakin Pool will not open until there is sufficient staff.

This, as the Beth Pancoe Aquatic Center opened for its first day today.

A group known as “Friends of Dakin Pool” is campaigning to keep the site open and free.

A similar measure was taken 15 years ago to prevent the pool from permanently closing.

The City says it is not closing Dakin Pool, and this temporary measure is solely based on low interest in lifeguarding.

But the citizens’ committee doesn’t want low staffing to create a fairness issue for children who live too far from Pancoe, or for taxpayers, as the city’s budget supports two pools.

”Keeping them both open at different times services all the kids in a given area,” Wayne Mallar of Bangor said. “We’re not being special to anyone. And I think that’s what it’s all about - providing a service to everyone.”

“I’m frustrated that we don’t seem to have a way to grow lifeguards, so to speak, in part because of COVID,” Kim Livingstone of Bangor said. “But, I think it’s time we learn to sort of work around that.”

The group, and some councilors, suggested raising the wages for lifeguards.

A hybrid scheduling model for the two sites, similar to the one used last year, was also discussed.

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