New Buffalo’s beach will have lifeguards on a limited basis this summer, despite an effort to drop the program.
Lifeguards will be on the beach on weekends and holidays only, much like they were last year.
Earlier this year city manager Dave Richards proposed a draft budget without the lifeguards on it. A local resident and a few lifeguard organizations protested and the lifeguards were kept on the budget.
Richards said finding lifeguards in New Buffalo is hard.
“You understand we only have a population of 1,900 people. And so it’s hard to find a pool of applicants, let alone qualified candidates to be lifeguards.”
Richards said he wanted to have a conversation about dropping lifeguards because it’s cost prohibitive to do it correctly and a risk management problem to do it they way they do.
He said the conversation will likely be revisited again. For now they’re accepting applications for this summer.
New Buffalo is one of only four Lake Michigan beaches in Michigan with lifeguards. Most are swim at your own risk.