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City releases Park Point signage plan

Mayor Gary Doty said Thursday that the City of Duluth will immediately begin a signage program designed to raise awareness about potential swimming dangers on Park Point.

Mayor Gary Doty said Thursday that the City of Duluth will immediately begin a signage program designed to raise awareness about potential swimming dangers on Park Point.

Speaking at a news conference, the mayor said that the city will clearly mark four entry points to public beaches while reminding citizens that the only designated swimming beach on the point is at the Park Point Beach House. "The events of Aug. 17 showed that we need to do everything we can to remind our citizens of potential danger as well as to point out to them where lifeguards and proper changing facilities are available."

Upon entering the point, visitors will see signs that direct them to the Park Point Beach House if they are interested in swimming. The four designated entry points to the beach -- the Beach House, at 12th Street, at Lafayette and at Sky Harbor (known as "the barrens") -- will also be signed. The latter three will all be signed "No Lifeguard -- Swim At Your Own Risk."

Signs will also be posted at the borders to all city property on the beachfront, warning users that entry onto non-approved areas such as private property is not permitted. Other signs dealing with beach safety and public restroom hours will also be posted.

The signs are the first part of a larger plan for Park Point. Lifeguards will now be responsible for posting signs on all four city beach areas in the event that weather forces closure of the Beach House to swimming.

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City officials will also consider hiring additional lifeguards to keep the supervised beach open later into the evenings, as well as placing additional trash containers, dumpsters and portable restrooms at all four beach access points.

The Department of Public Works and Utilities will also work up plans for a beach crew that will help keep the beach access points clean in addition to other improvements. "Eventually, we will explore all our swimming areas, not just along Park Point," Mayor Doty added. "We would like to have signage at Twin Ponds, Chester Bowl, and our creeks and rivers to the greatest extent we can. Park Point will be signed first and our other swimming areas will be part of a longer-term program."

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