HUNTINGTON BEACH : County Will End City’s Annual Lifeguard Subsidy
For about 50 years, the county has helped pay for lifeguard costs on the city’s beaches.
But that has come to an end.
Because of the county’s financial problems and increased costs in providing its own coastal lifeguard services, the county has ended the city’s $78,000-a-year subsidy, said Community Services Director Ron Hagan.
To ease the city’s loss, the City Council this week approved an agreement with the county that will eliminate the subsidy over a four-year period.
But Hagan said the city is still expecting to receive its $78,000 for the 1994-95 fiscal year.
Hagan said no marine safety services will be cut this year as a result of the subsidy loss.
“What it means is we’ll have less money available to staff during the off-season. That’s what gets hurt the most,” Hagan said.
Last year, 7.1 million people visited the city’s beaches.
Hagan said the city will spend about $1.6 million this fiscal year for marine safety services.
Cuts that have been made include a reduction in beach patrol from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. year-round instead of providing 24-hour lifeguard service.