Originally Published: July 7, 2009 7:45 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY - Throngs of children played under the watchful eye of parents and lifeguards Monday afternoon in the Mountain Valley Splash swimming pool in Mountain Valley Park.
Several children waited outside the gate shortly before 2 p.m. for others to leave the 25-yard pool, which had reached its capacity of 200 people.
Judging by the popularity of the pool on hot summer days, a proposal before the Town Council Thursday to increase fees would have a negligible effect, if any, on attendance.
It amounts to small change to pool patron Dave Estey of Prescott Valley. He said he takes his 4-year-old son, Justin, to the pool in the park on Nace Lane.
Parks and Recreation Director Brian Witty and the Parks and Recreation Commission favor the proposed increased fees to cover greater operating costs, and recommended the proposal to the council.
The council has not increased fees for use of the pool and other recreational amenities since October 2003. The new schedule would go into effect after the council vote.
The new schedule would increase the daily passes by 25 cents for children and adults, and 50 cents for seniors and families (five or more people). Fees currently are 50 cents for children 5 and under, $1.50 for children 6 to 17, $2.50 for adults 18 to 59, $1.50 for seniors 60 and older and $9 for families.
The season pass for families would increase from $125 to $150. The pool remains open for public swims until Aug. 9.
The proposed fee increase did not draw criticism from Estey or two other pool patrons Monday afternoon.
"Next year, I will buy a season pass," said Estey, a retired baseball umpire from San Diego. "I don't look at it to save money. I look at it to have fun. Nobody gets hurt."
David Adams, a paralegal from Roseburg, Ore., said he visited the pool for the first time Monday, and took his wife and four children.
"I think it is about the same price (in Roseburg)," he said. "It might be a little higher. A lot of (public) pools in Oregon are closing. Cities don't have the money."
The proposed fee hike sounded "pretty fair" to Andrea Berry, a mother of two who lives in Prescott Valley.
"My family bought a family membership this year because it is cheaper than to pay every day," Berry said.
The proposed fee schedule also covers softball and volleyball leagues and rentals of ball fields, the pavilion at Mountain Valley Park, the community room in the Civic Center and other amenities.
The schedule is on the agenda for a council meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. Thursday and takes place in the council chambers on the first floor of the Civic Center, 7501 E. Civic Circle.
The council also will consider:
Appointing Ron Brinkman to the Parks and Recreation Commission and reappointing Buzz Gummer to it.
An amended lease agreement with the Central Arizona Senior Association for its center on Manzanita Circle.
The final development plan for JPM Chase Bank in the Prescott Valley Crossroads Center at the southwest corner of Sundog Ranch Road and Highway 69.
A conditional use permit for a public safety communications system atop Glassford Hill.