Wednesday was the unofficial start of summer’s second half, and a popular cooling-off oasis in the area has salvaged its season.
Oakdale Beach opened this year on the Fourth of July instead of the traditional Memorial Day weekend for want of funding. The Hudson Youth Department, which oversees the beach, Oakdale Lake and all of its facilities, had to put off opening day and wait for a budget amendment that would enable payment of lifeguards.
Lifeguards will be on duty at Oakdale seven days a week from noon until 6 p.m. through July and the dog days of August.
The Hudson Common Council voted 6-0 June 27 to pass a $46,500 amendment to the city budget to close funding gaps. The amendment includes more than $9,000 to pay lifeguards $11 an hour.
We’re happy to report there’s more to the Common Council’s amendment than salaries. With the funding, the Hudson Youth Department will be able to make urgently needed upgrades to the Oakdale facilities, including new fire alarm and heating systems, and additions to its summer programs.
Without lifeguards, beachcombers and swimmers became trespassers because Oakdale was officially closed. That unpleasantness also ended with the new funding.
Making up for lost time and escaping a brutal near-record heat wave, 75 visitors hit the beach Wednesday. On Thursday, the attendance was announced at 65 to 70 people.
Historically, attendance is largely comprised of Hudson residents, but this year, excitement is centering on newcomers to the city taking advantage of the beach and lake.
This is a fine example of the Hudson Youth Department and Hudson Common Council living up to expectations and responsibilities to the people they serve. It isn’t as simple as it sounds and it took work to accomplish. But when government works together, good things happen.