Recreation pool/summer camp fees remain same this year

Published 11:55 pm Monday, May 27, 2013

Commissioners task recreation board for fee adjustments

Polk County residents will not see any fee increases for the recreation’s summer day camp or pool fees this summer.

During budget discussions, commissioners originally discussed adjusting the fees in an attempt to partially make up an estimated $25,000 deficit at Gibson Park pool.

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Commissioners met Monday, May 20 and decided to leave this year’s fees the same but asked its recreation advisory board to meet and make recommendations to adjust fees for next year.

Gibson Park pool is scheduled to hold an open house on June 1 from 4 to 6 p.m. with a free swim for the public, refreshments and early registration for annual pool passes.

Swimming lessons begin on June 4 with the pool scheduled to open to the public on June 8. Polk County Schools dismiss for summer break on June 7 with summer camp at Stearns gym beginning the week following.

Commissioners began holding workshops on the upcoming fiscal year 2013-2014 budget last week and held discussions on the recreation department on three separate days.

The majority of the board expressed concern over the pool’s annual deficit and said they want the fees to more accurately match the costs to run the pool. Fees for the pool, swimming lessons and summer camp have not been adjusted in several years. Recreation director Patty Aldred brought recommendations of slight increases to the board, that ranged from increasing summer camp fees per week as well as swimming lessons and pool passes.

Aldred told commissioners on May 20 on pool passes, for example, the department could give a 50 percent discounted rate on families with five people, then a 25 percent discount from six persons and above. She said based on what people bought last year that would bring in $8,000 worth of revenue compared to $3,710 in 2012 revenues.

Aldred also said the pool could do away with pool passes altogether and charge $2 per person every time they go through the gate.

The fee per person currently is $3 per person without a pass. An annual pass is $65.

Commissioner Ted Owens asked if doing away with pool passes would bring in more money. Aldred said yes, but it may keep people from coming.

Commissioner Tom Pack recommended sending the proposals to the recreation board and asking for a recommendation. Aldred said she would put it on the recreation board’s agenda for July.