By Kylie Hanson
Tribune Sentinel Intern
At the Grant City Council meeting on May 27, a big topic was discussed: the new pool policies.
In the past the city has allowed lifeguards to teach private swimming lessons in the public pool on their own time. This way, they are not being paid as an employee of the city, they are in on closed hours and the person is paying a private fee.
But now, it’s a new story. According to Dana Harris, last summer there were questions in Ogallala on the liability issue of private lessons and has been questioned ever since in surrounding areas such as Perkins County and Imperial.
If something were to happen during that time of the private lesson, it would put not only the lifeguard’s liability on the line, but also the pool’s and possibly the city’s as well.
The discussion has now grown statewide, according to Harris.
“The way we decided to solve it was the only way we could solve it. For everyone to be covered, so the lifeguards aren’t exposed on their insurance or their parents’ insurance, is the lifeguard will be on the clock, even for lessons,” Harris explained.
Harris expanded on the issue on who will now be paid for the private lessons, “The parents, or whoever who wants this lesson, will pay us, the city, for the lesson.”
All lifeguards received $1 more than their regular pay of $ 7.25 an hour (possibly more, depending on the years of service and position) in order to pay off these lessons.
“It’s a lot more paperwork but we have to do it to be covered,” Harris said.
According to Maggie ONeil, the manager of Ogallala Municipal Public Swimming Pool, their policy is to have the lifeguard and student of the lesson to sign a waiver that their county attorney has drafted.
Perkins County Schools will have to have a liability waiver signed to use for P.E. classes because of recent insurance issue, Harris explained.
Public lessons will begin June 23 and end June 27. For the first child it is $30, second child is $25, and the third child is $20. Please contact the Grant Pool at (308) 352-4217 with questions or to sign up for swimming lessons.