BERKELEY, Mo. - Days away from Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, at least one municipality is still working out how to get its pool open in time and countless lifeguards are left without jobs.
On Friday, May 17, Berkeley-based Lifeguards Unlimited and Pool Pros Inc. announced they would be winding down business effective immediately.
One Pool Pros customer said were notified via email. They shared that email with Fox 2/News 11 which says, in part:
"Due to circumstance beyond our control, Pool Pros will be winding down their business effective immediately, and will no longer be able to serve as your pool maintenance company. We regret this action but have been left with no other options.
"We will be working to return covers, and other material owned by you, in the next 30-45 days. If you wish to have your new pool company pick up your cover, please let us know via email so that we can make arrangements."
However, that customer said they have not been able to reach anyone at the company yet.
Becky Krohn is frustrated because she paid for lifeguard training that her son never received. Krohn said she has not been able to reach the companies either.
"It was $180 and that was to take place four full days next week, four days after Memorial Day," she said.
Krohn said her son still has not been officially notified by Lifeguards Unlimited that it was folding and things seemed fine just last week.
"They had a meeting last week with Lifeguards Unlimited and were told to order uniforms, which we did, so that was another $30," she said.
Krohn said some employees who had already begun summer jobs with the company have not been paid. The municipality Krohn's son works for quickly switched to a different pool management company, so he still has a job.
However, other municipalities were caught off guard. Fenton and St. Ann both took to Facebook Friday to inform visitors that their pools would be closed due to Lifeguards Unlimited ending business.
Fenton's Parks and Recreation Department said all of its RiverChase pools will reopen Tuesday, May 21. St. Ann is still working out a solution after what it calls a "breach of contract by Lifeguards Unlimited."
Fox 2/News 11 made several attempts to contact the companies since Friday, but calls were not returned.