Marine City plans to cut lifeguards at beach

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MARINE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Plans in Marine City call for cutting lifeguards and closing bathrooms at its beach as part of a budget-balancing effort by the community along the St. Clair River.

Cutting lifeguards will reduce an about $200,000 city deficit by about $30,000, the Times Herald of Port Huron reported (http://bwne.ws/1rhxqFe ). A public hearing on the $1.9 million budget is May 15 and commissioners are expected to vote on the budget at a meeting after that one.

Marine City Beach is the only beach in St. Clair County that still has lifeguards, the newspaper reported. Lynn Zyrowski, the city’s parks and recreation director, said lifeguards are on duty seven days a week and assisted in recent years when people had medical issues.

“I’m not happy with it. I wish we could keep the lifeguards,” Zyrowski said. “I think it’s a wonderful feature and asset to the city.”

Lifeguards also were responsible for cleaning and maintaining the bathrooms. The city about 40 miles northeast of Detroit plans to pay about $500 to rent two portable bathrooms from June through September, said City Manager John Gabo, and a company will maintain and clean them.

Other items to be removed from the budget include $12,000 for portable radios for police cars and $7,000 in maintenance money for City Hall, Gabor said. In addition, $54,000 will be used from the retiree health insurance fund to help trim the budget deficit.

Between $35,000 and $40,000 originally set aside for new playground equipment at King Road Park will now be used to paint the Peche Lighthouse in Lighthouse Park. The planned cuts come as the city has lost about 27 percent of its revenue since 2008, Gabor said.

“We’re spending less now to run the city than we did 10 years ago,” he said, noting the number of full-time employees has dropped from 38 to 10. “We’ve done a lot of the right things over the last six to seven years, but the revenue stream hasn’t bottomed out yet.”

The budget year begins July 1.

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Information from: Times Herald, http://www.thetimesherald.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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