CA City Has No Lifeguards After Budget Cuts Due to COVID-19 Pandemic

By , KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

A long stretch of beach in Capitola, California will no longer be protected by lifeguards.

The city has had to make budget cuts because of the coronavirus pandemic and residents are not happy with the decision.

"I think it’s a bad idea, we need the lifeguards," said one woman who lives in the city.

She said lifeguards do more than just rescue people.

"When we’ve been out here, with riptides and that type of thing, the lifeguards also teach kids about those types of things and keep them safe."

"Even if they had one tower in this general area - one tower, not two - I think that would go a long way," another resident told KCBS Radio. "This being a family beach with a lot of kids, young kids, safety should be a top priority."

Another woman said she was upset that the decision was made before the community could weigh in.

The city is facing a budget deficit of nearly $5 million. The lifeguard program, which costs $91,000, was just one of many programs cut in order to help the city bridge that gap. 

City officials said they are contacting other agencies to help fill the lifeguard towers, but warn that it may be too late to turn things around for this summer. 

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