The Hannahville Indian Community deserves a world of praise for helping its neighbors. Because of money given by the tribe to the city of Gladstone, the Gladstone beach will have lifeguards there to protect swimmers this summer.
The tribal council agreed this week to give Gladstone $20,000 to fund lifeguards at the beach after the city was unable to continue providing that service. It's a classic case of neighbor helping neighbor in a time of need.
The city of Gladstone found itself in a bind earlier this year when the city budget was being prepared. The city had originally planned to fund lifeguards for the beach. In the preliminary budget, funds were set aside for lifeguards, but when more than $100,000 in retiree health insurance costs was added in, it put the general fund $80,000 in the red, requiring additional cuts to be made.
With few areas left to cut, the city was forced to end funding for lifeguards at the beach - a $20,000 savings.
Swimming at the Gladstone beach became a "swim at your own risk" proposition. Beach users were warned they would have to take sole responsibility for their safety at the popular summer spot. Needless to say, this upset many parents and other beach-goers who use the beach year after year.
After learning about the hardship Gladstone was facing, Hannahville authorities decided to do something about it. This week, the tribal council authorized giving Gladstone $20,000 to reinstate the lifeguard program.
The Hannahville Community and tribal council should be praised for coming to the aid of Gladstone and solving a community problem. Hannahville officials said they were looking for ways to help the community that would make a significant impact on the quality of life.
Providing funding to reinstate the lifeguards was certainly one of those.
The Hannahville Community has not only made users of the Gladstone beach happy, they have made the Gladstone beach a much safer place for everyone.
Hannahville's funds will allow the city to staff the beach with two guards, and a third on a rotating basis, as well as provide a roped-in area, and slide for the 2010 season.
That will benefit everyone.