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Lifeguard shortage prompts wage boost

Glen Cove City Hall on Glen Street. as

Glen Cove City Hall on Glen Street. as seen on Sept. 23, 2015. Credit: Howard Schnapp

The Glen Cove City Council on Tuesday night approved raises for lifeguards amid a continuing shortage.

Eleven lifeguards had been paid $12.50 to $16.50 an hour, parks and recreation director Darcy Belyea said. They will now make $15 to $18 an hour, with those with the most experience and the most willingness to work extra hours being paid the top amount. One lifeguard who also has been a water-safety instructor will remain at $19 an hour, Belyea said.

Either Morgan Beach or Pryibil Beach has been closed for swimming several times this summer because of a lack of lifeguards — the city closes one of the beaches and leaves the other open. The council on July 10 hired a Long Beach firm to provide lifeguard and first-aid services on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day at the two beaches when not enough city lifeguards are available.

“We’d like to keep our lifeguards local,” Tenke said Tuesday.

The raises are aimed not only at incentivizing lifeguards to work extra hours this year but also to prompt more people to work as lifeguards in future years, he said.

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