SAMLARC is pleased to offer and maintain a wide variety of amenities for its Members to utilize year-round. From the picturesque vantage point of Altisima Park to the peaceful walking trail adjoining Monte Vista Park, Members enjoy creating new memories in our unique community. Like the parks, SAMLARC pools are open to its Members throughout the year and are a pleasant setting for exercise, recreation, and enjoyment.
Although pools are open throughout the year for aquatic activities, they are only staffed with lifeguard services on a limited basis during the summer months. At the Budget Workshop held on October 9, 2018, the Board of Directors approved a modified lifeguard service contract that encompasses the following schedule:
Pools (Altisima, Solana, Arroyo Vista and Monte Vista) – Weekends only from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, beginning May 25, 2019 and concluding Labor Day. Lifeguard services will also be provided on July 4th.
Lagoon – Weekends only for the month of May, and seven days per week from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM, beginning June 1, 2019 and concluding Labor Day.
The decision to modify the lifeguard service schedule was made after careful consideration of several factors, including: industry standards, an increased contract rate due to minimum wage impacts; attendance; potential risk exposure; and hours of operation.
Cost – Minimum Wage and Contract Increases
One of the major issues affecting SAMLARC and the majority of Homeowners Associations, as well as businesses, is related to the impact of state-mandated minimum wage increases and resulting wage compaction. As minimum wage increases, service providers are forced to adjust their compensation scale, resulting in higher contract rates for customers such as SAMLARC. When minimum wage increases, the total sum billed to customers also increases. The lifeguard service rates reflected below are not wages alone. The rates also include administrative, insurance, training, and other overhead costs.
SAMLARC’s contracted rate with its lifeguard service provider reflects the sum of both wages and overhead costs. From 2017-2018, and proposed in 2019, the positions’ hourly cost to SAMLARC (including the provider’s overhead, wages, and minimum wage increase) are as follows:
2017 2018 2019
Lifeguard $18.00 $19.50 $22.00
Supervisor $20.00 $21.00 $24.00
Gate Monitor $16.00 $19.00 $22.00
The positions’ hourly cost increase from 2017 to 2019 is $4.00 per hour for lifeguards and supervisors, and $6.00 per hour for gate monitors. This increase reflects not only the state-mandated wage increase, but increased costs of the provider’s business and other inflationary factors.
In 2018, the actual amount spent on lifeguard services at the pools and Lagoon was $213,787. The 2019 Budget includes $161,142 for lifeguard services at the Lagoon and pools. This amount allocates funding for seven-day lifeguard services at the Lagoon during the summer months and weekend lifeguard services at the pools during the summer months.
In the absence of lifeguard services at the pools during the summer months, a rover will be visiting the pools throughout the day to check appropriate pool use, water chemistry, cleanliness and overall condition of the facility. Four AEDs (automated external defibrillators) have been purchased for placement at the SAMLARC Pools. Additionally, water safety and CPR classes will empower and educate Members so they can enjoy aquatic facilities everywhere.
Attendance and Hours of Operation
The modified pool lifeguard schedule was created with pool traffic in mind. During the months of June, July and August in 2018, the average hourly attendance at the pools from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM ranged from 5 bathers to 13 bathers per hour, with two lifeguards on duty. For the same time period on weekends at the pools, attendance ranged from 6 to 23 bathers per hour. It is anticipated that the pools will receive similar usage rates this year.
It is important to note that the pools are open year-round from 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Lifeguard services are not provided year-round, nor are they provided for the entirety of the pool swimming hours. SAMLARC encourages Members to practice water safety, and to take advantage of local water safety resources so that Members feel comfortable in any body of water.
Risk Exposure and Industry Standards
The current industry standard for many homeowner associations is to not provide lifeguard services. As long as a pool is properly noticed with signage and has the proper equipment in accordance with state mandates, the pool complies with state requirements and the risk exposure to a lawsuit is minimized. Offering lifeguard services can carry additional risk if the lifeguard company providing the service is found to be negligent in its services.
The Board of Directors feels that lifeguard services are an important asset when the pools and Lagoon experience high volumes of traffic. The modified lifeguard schedule was specifically designed to provide services during these periods over the summer swim season: seven days per week at the Lagoon, and on weekends at the pools. The modified service schedule will be evaluated throughout the Summer 2019 swim season to measure its effectiveness, and will be reassessed by the Board during development of the 2020 Budget.
Be Safe in the Water Initiative
SAMLARC recognizes the importance of empowering Members to be confident in any body of water, be it at a resort, ocean, river, lake, or SAMLARC pool. This confidence begins by equipping Members with practical education. This summer, SAMLARC is launching a Be Safe in the Water initiative. This program includes free Family Water Safety classes, free First Aid and CPR training, AED training, and group swim lessons. SAMLARC encourages Members to utilize these resources so that you and your loved ones feel confident in any body of water. We encourage you to enjoy the summer swim season with safety in mind.
For further information regarding the Beach Club Lagoon and pools, contact Beach Club and Aquatic Facilities Manager Jerry Corpuz at (949) 709-4009.