When I was a kid, the public pools were where the fun was.

It's funny, I grew up without a pool, like a lot of kids. But we had a camp. I could go swimming anytime I wanted to for the most part. But there was just something awesome about being able to swim in your own back yard. And back then, Hampden didn't have a public pool, so the options were even more limited.

So often, a group of neighborhood kids would pile into a neighbor parent's car and head into Bangor to make use of the pools. We always went to the pool on Union Street. Not sure if it was known as the Beth Pancoe Pool or not back then, but that was our spot. Although, occasionally we'd end up at the Dakin Pool just off Stillwater Ave.

But not this year, unfortunately.

According to WABI, Bangor Parks & Rec announced that due to staffing issues, they wouldn't be able to effectively run both pools. The other of course, being the very popular Beth Pancoe Aquatic Center. And while decisions needed to be made, it was not one the department took lightly.

Typically, it takes well over two dozen people to maintain both pools. This year, the city has a staff of 18. Rather than have to divide their attention between two pools with such a short staff, they made the decision to close the Dakin Pool. Parks & Rec says it intends for it to close this year only.

It's a blow to the neighborhood, but staffing issues are a problem all over the country. In Maine, that's especially tough, because we currently have the lowest unemployment rate we've had in half a century. It's not that people don't want to do it, people are just already working other jobs. In the meantime, the Beth Pancoe Aquatic Center will open 7 days a week, and if staffing levels change, they'll reconsider opening the Dakin Pool.


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