Originally Published: May 19, 2009 10:23 p.m.
PRESCOTT VALLEY - The Mountain Valley Splash pool at Mountain Valley Park reopens with the Memorial Day holiday weekend Saturday, and will remain open through Aug. 9 for the public.Pool users face the likelihood of higher fees this summer, according to Brian Witty, Parks and Recreation director. He said he has proposed increases, such as from 50 to 75 cents for children 5 and younger for using the pool, which is 5.5 feet deep and holds a capacity of 237 people."It is just a process that we go through from time to time," Witty said Tuesday. He added the Town Council will consider fee hikes at a work/study meeting in June."You can't subsidize it," Vice Mayor Fran Schumacher said. "It has to pay for itself."Schumacher said the fees for use of the pool have not changed in several years. "All the rates basically have to increase because they need to pay for themselves," she said. Revenues covered only 20 percent of the pool's operating costs for the 2008-09 fiscal year, which concludes June 30, according to the department's budget. Higher fees also come at a time when the Parks and Recreation department and other town departments face cuts amid the continuing national recession. The tentative budget for the town for the 2009-10 fiscal year calls for $3.4 million for Parks and Recreation, a $663,237 decline.Cuts include reducing the operating costs for the pool from $117,000 in 2008-09 to $102,000 in 2009-10, Witty said. That figure does not include staff time."We hope to reduce our repairs," Witty said.Witty said his department also is consolidating lap and therapy swims and water aerobics."We will be reducing the number of family swims, teen nights and swim lesson sessions," he said.He said his department also has eliminated swim meets during Prescott Valley Days June 19 and 20 and a junior lifeguard program that enables 15-year-olds to shadow lifeguards.Parks and Recreation has budgeted for attendance of 15,000 people for open swim in 2009-10 (the same as in 2008-09), 700 for lap swims (up from 600 in 2008-09) and 4,200 for swim lessons (down from 8,000 in the current fiscal year).The department is scheduled to conduct swimming lesson registration from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday for Session I (June 1-11) of its four-session series. Cost is $20 per session per person. The department will offer discounts for multiple siblings within the same session. Sign-ups for Mountain Valley Splash's Youth Recreational Swim Team also will begin from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. The department will accept sign-ups through the first day of practice schedule for June 1. Practices will take place from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. weekdays starting June 1 through Aug. 8, with swim meets taking place on Saturdays throughout the summer. Cost is $120 per person and $100 per each additional sibling. For more information on either swim lesson or swim team program sessions, dates and times, visit the town's website at www.pvaz.net/Index.aspx?page=434, and download the 2009 Swim Lesson Schedule and Aquatics Service brochure.For more information, call 775-3165.CLARIFICATION - The pool will host swim meets during Prescott Valley Days June 19 and 20, according to the Parks and Recreation Department.