Note: This story appears in the Thursday, May 16 newspaper on Page A1.
NELSONVILLE — Taking a dip at the city pool in Nelsonville will cost a little bit extra this year.
With the water park expected to open later this month, Nelsonville City Council voted Monday to increase fees to daily, seasonal and party rates for most guests.
Daily rates have increased for local senior citizens and children ages 6-17 to being $4 per day. The daily rates remain for children ages 0-5 ($2) and adults ($4).
Seasonal pass rates increased among all age groups.
Council members justified the increases due to city budget concerns, though members Dottie Fromal and Taylor Sappington voted against the swim rate hikes.
“We’re $81,000 short from last year on funding the pool,” member Greg Smith said.
The ordinance to raise rates came following a lengthy discussion between Council members and Pool Manager Leslie Yinger, who had advocated for keeping rates as low as possible, particularly for youth entry.
Council approved two rates for party rentals: groups up to 75 guests will be charged $225, with groups of more than 75 guests to be charged $300.
The ordinance also raises the cost for swim lessons, with local children to be charged $30 and out-of-town swimmers to be charged $35. Adult swim lessons are priced at $40 for local residents and $50 for others.
Yinger said the rates are still among the lowest in the area for such lessons.
“I think that people will feel like it’s valuable,” she said.
Yinger suggested approaching local businesses to see if they could sponsor a given day at the pool to allow community members to swim for free. Such entities could also host special events such as moonlight swims or movie nights, she said.
Smith proposed that a local income or recreation tax could help with funding the pool in future years, noting that there had been a previous levy which contributed to pool expenses.