If you’re planning on going to Duluth’s Park Point Beach for some fun under the sun, remember that it’s no longer staffed by city-employed lifeguards. With budget cuts forcing cities to cut services, MPR reports that many Duluth city services are being taken on by volunteers. The YMCA has picked up the slack, paying for Park Point Beach’s lifeguarding staff. The beach is not the only place where this has happened in Duluth. The YMCA has taken over Duluth’s Woodland Community Center as well.
Love to ski in the winter? There’s some really good skiing in Duluth, but Chester Bowl Park will be run by volunteers this winter. Chester Bowl also provides summer recreation programs, this year asking parents for $10 a day per child, says Chester Bowl Improvement Club member Thom Storm.
We’ve specifically made it a suggested donation, so if people can’t afford that, they don’t have to," Storm says. "You know, we’re hoping some people will pay it, because we have to pay the counselors some money to work here.
It’s a tough situation: programs need funding to continue to operate in the absence of city funds, but families have also been hit hard by the economic recession. This is not a thriving Minnesota, but one that is struggling to survive. The city of Duluth cannot even provide the services it should because of the governor’s irresponsible budget cuts.
Duluth is by no means the only city that has fallen victim to the governor’s irresponsible cuts. To find out how these cuts affect the rest of Minnesota or to share your own experience, head over to the Defend Minnesota website.