The Westby City Council approved to reimburse up to $150 for upcoming lifeguards’ certification to help meet employment demands at the Westby Municipal Pool. Lifeguards will be reimbursed for their certification at the end of the pool operating season this year.

“We’re having trouble getting lifeguards,” Danny Helgerson, Westby mayor, said at the City Council meeting Tuesday, Feb. 5. “Then we realized their certifications were costing them so much, like $250 to $260 a piece.”

The decision came after the Westby Area School District proposed an arrangement for lifeguards who would be employed during their swimming lessons, June 10-21, and lifeguards who continued to work the rest of the season would also be reimbursed by the city.

“I think we missed six or seven days at least last year that they had to close,” Helgerson said. “You can’t open without a certain amount of lifeguards.”

In an email sent to Roxy Wedwick, Westby city clerk/treasurer, elementary school Principal Bruce Peterson, said, “Upon successful completion of Westby Area School District Program employment, lifeguards will receive $100 in reimbursement toward the cost of certification or recertification.”

“Up to 12 of the lifeguards the school would offer to pay up to $100 towards their reimbursement and the city will cover the rest,” Helgerson said.

Certification classes through the La Crosse/Onalaska YMCA are Feb. 16 and 17, or April 6, 7, 13 and 14, or May 11, 12, 18 and 19. Recertification classes are March 31 or May 4.

“We will have some lifeguards that are still going to be certified, so it’s not going to include every single lifeguard,” Wedwick said.

Lifeguards who are already certified will not be eligible for reimbursement for the 2019 season.

The council approved the purchase of a new fire alarm system at Norseland Nursing Home. The cost of the repair is $5,925, so therefore needed council approval.

“It’s so old you can’t get new parts for it, so we’re looking to replace the whole thing,” Megan Feirtag, administrator at Norseland Nursing Home, said.

The recommendation to replace the system came after discovery of a horn circuit malfunction, and how long it has been in place. The work will be done by Signal Systems, Inc. the current contractor for maintenance.

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Sahnje McGonigle


Vernon County Broadcaster reporter

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