Volusia Co. beach safety requests 4 $20K lifeguard towers

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. —

Lifeguard towers seen in south Florida, California, or even Hawaii could be coming to Volusia County soon.

The cost for each one is close to $20,000 dollars. Beach Safety Ocean Rescue wants four to keep swimmers safer. Some critics say it can be done cheaper.

"It's worth the expense and it's worth putting some of my tax dollars into, but when you're spending $20,000 when you could get by spending $3- or $4,000, that's a big difference," resident Mark Schaefer said.

The county already has smaller lifeguard towers like the ones at Sun Splash Park in Daytona Beach.

It is made with wood and officials say it meets the needs of lifeguards but they say the new towers can be moved easier and because they're better made, they'll last longer; which will be cheaper in the long run.

Councilman Josh Wagner agrees and points to towers the county uses that are even larger and more expensive.

"Because you have these big facilities, the lifeguard towers that cost $180,000, what we're trying to do is take a $20,000 lifeguard stand and use that instead of it," Wagner said.

Supporters say the new towers would give a bird's eye view of dangers like shark sightings due to mullet, shark bites and rescues due to rip currents to help lifeguards protect swimmers.