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Due to a shortage of lifeguards, pool hours will be limited for the summer, the city of Mesquite announced Tuesday.

The shortage is a nationwide phenomenon and has affected many area communities across North Texas, including Mesquite.

"The shortage started last summer and we were able to hire 26 guards," Parks and Recreation Director Elizabeth Harrell said. "Entering into this year, recruitment started in February with the intent to hire enough guards to operate all three pools.  The number of applicants does not meet the needs of operational levels."

The City Lake Aquatic Center, located at 200 Parkview Street, will operate from Thursday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m. for open swim.

Vanston and Town East Pools will only be used for swim teams, swimming lessons and water aerobics, the city said.

To retain current staff and attract additional staff, the city is increasing the starting pay of lifeguards from $9.48 to $12 per hour, the city said.

“This is a very unusual situation,” Parks and recreation Director Elizabeth Harrell said in a press release. “We hope the increased pay attracts more applicants. Staffing levels will be monitored over the coming weeks and as numbers allow, we will evaluate the possibility of expanding open swim hours and other aquatic programming.”

Teenagers and young adults interested in applying to be a lifeguard can apply through the city of Mesquite’s Human Resources Department at cityofmesquite.com/HumanResources.

Winston Henvey is the reporter for the Mesquite News, Coppell Gazette and The Leader serving Carrollton, Flower Mound and Lewisville. Email him with story suggestions at whenvey@starlocalmedia.com.

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