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Mauch Chunk hits rough water on hires

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    An empty lifeguard chair at the edge of the swimming area of Mauch Chunk Lake. The county is in need of lifeguards for the season. The beach is adequately staffed so swimming will be allowed Memorial Day weekend. AMY MILLER/TIMES NEWS

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    Swimming at Mauch Chunk Lake is only permitted when a lifeguard is there. Carbon County only has five lifeguards and is in need of five more to fully staff the lake this summer.

Published May 25. 2018 01:02PM

Visitors hoping to take a dip at Mauch Chunk Lake this summer may be out of luck.

On Thursday, the county commissioners discussed a major problem at the county lake — the lack of lifeguards.

“We’ve got staffing issues,” Commissioner William O’Gurek said.

He added that he spoke with Dave Horvath, park director, who informed him that there are currently five certified lifeguards on the county’s staff for the summer. That leaves five positions that haven’t been filled.

O’Gurek said that Mauch Chunk Lake Park will be open for business on Memorial Day weekend.

“We are staffed adequately for Memorial Day weekend so the park will be open but we will get into a run of time when some of those people (lifeguards) who are available this weekend may not be available,” he said.

According to the law, Carbon County cannot charge an admission fee to the park if it doesn’t have a sufficient number of lifeguards working that day. That means that on days when lifeguards are not available, the beach will be closed to swimmers.

“We need about 10 lifeguards to operate adequately,” Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard said.

“It’s a rough situation,” O’Gurek said. “We need more applicants.”

Officials have reached out to area schools, as well as community pools to see if any certified lifeguards are available.

Lifeguard positions at Mauch Chunk Lake Park pay $10 an hour and applications are still being accepted.

To apply for the positions, contact Carbon County’s human resources department at 570-325-8523 or the commissioners’ office at 570-325-3611.

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