OC Lifeguard Costs Rise

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It's still safe to go into the water
Anticipating an increase in the number of people visiting local beaches during the remaining 10 months of 2010, the Orange County Board of Supervisors recently agreed to boost lifeguard related spending by a quarter of a million dollars to $1.8 million.

U.S. Ocean Safety, Inc.--the private company that owns the county's no-bid contract--plans to use the additional funds to hire three more lifeguards to their staff, build a new lifeguard tower, issue repairs to existing structures and purchase two new all-terrain vehicles, according to county records.

The new deal means taxpayers will pay on average $180,000-a-month for daily, invaluable lifeguard services at Sunset Beach, Santa Ana River Jetty Beach, Aliso Beach, Salt Creek Beach--including Strand Beach, Capistrano Beach, Poche Beach and Baby Beach in Dana Point.

Oddly, the approved contract doesn't mandate the minimum number of lifeguards that must be on duty, but does require them to behave "in a professional, polite and courteous manner."

--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly

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