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Chino Valley considers raising prices at Aquatics Center
State's minimum wage increase makes an impact

The Town of Chino Valley is considering raising prices at the Aquatics Center, saying that the state's increase in the minimum wage has increased costs. The next step is a public hearing before Council can vote on the issue.
Photo by Ken Sain.

The Town of Chino Valley is considering raising prices at the Aquatics Center, saying that the state's increase in the minimum wage has increased costs. The next step is a public hearing before Council can vote on the issue.

After voters approved Proposition 206 this past November, minimum hourly wages at the Chino Valley Aquatic Center have increased from $8.20 per hour to $10, a 22 percent increase for pool personnel.

Chris Bartels, town utility supervisor, told council members Feb. 14 that after an analysis of admission prices of other local public pools, he recommends an increase for the Aquatic Center. He said the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board found an average fee of about 25 percent more than those charged by Chino Valley, and he anticipated these other pools would be going through the same process to increase their fees.

The Center operates at a loss — $143,400 for fiscal year 2016-2017 budget and projected net loss of $160,836 in FY2017-2018. In order to offset the additional expenditure created by the mandated minimum wage, Bartels asked council members to adopt a notice of intent to increase the admission fees.

Council voted unanimously in favor, which leads to a public hearing on the matter scheduled for the April 25 council meeting.

Increasing the admission fees by an average of 14 percent, or about 50 cents per user class, as recommended, will maintain a projected net loss for the facility’s operations to less than $150,000 for the 2017 season, Bartels said in his memo to the council. Even so, the projected net loss will increase by 4.4 percent over the 2016 season.

Proposed fee increases for users:

▶ Child age 5 and younger from $1 to $1.25.

▶ Youth ages 6-17 from $3 to $3.50.

▶ Adult ages 18-54 from $3.50 to $4.

▶ Seniors age 55 and older from $3 to $3.50.

▶ Family of five from $12.50 to $15.

Season passes, swimming lessons and facility rental rates will also see an increase.

The town clerk is required to post the date and time of the public hearing 30 days prior to the hearing, and publish the notice 20 days prior. Council may adopt a resolution on April 25 after the public hearing. The new rates would become effective 30 days later on June 1.

Follow Sue Tone on Twitter @ToneNotes. Reach her at 928-445-3333 ext. 2043.

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