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City commissioners take plunge into pool rate hike

1/22/2014

By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT

mkenwright@dailynews.net

The Hays City Commission will debate changing the fee structures at local recreational facilities at its 6:30 p.m. Thursday meeting at city hall.

After the city contractually was obligated to cover $20,452 of the Hays Recreation Commission's pool operations loss at Hays Aquatic Park and Wilson Pool, city staff is looking at minimizing future potential shortfalls. Establishing a third tier of admissions for individuals 18 and older is under consideration.

The new daily admission costs would be $4 at the park and $3 at the pool. Guests between the ages of 3 to 17 still would pay $3 at the park and $2 at the pool, and children younger than 3 are free.

An estimated 25 percent of pool visitors are 18 or older, and the change would bring in a projected $7,500 to $8,500 in a "normal year," according to the meeting's agenda. The HAP's average attendance is 56,000 to 57,000, and the Wilson Pool's attendance is approximately 3,000, said Paul Briseno, assistant city manager.

The averages were set in 2008, and the facilities outperformed those numbers from 2010 to 2012.

The third tier would have brought in approximately $6,800 of additional revenue during last year's "low participation." Last year's attendance was approximately 46,000 visits.

The commission also will consider changing the standard tournament greens fee to $15 per person at Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course. The policy has "confusing language" with pricing tiers according to weekday or weekend use and number of participants, according to the agenda.

A reduced rate for golfers 17 and younger is on the agenda. The junior golf greens fee would be $10 and begin March 1.

Other items on the docket:

* The commission will discuss enforcing an ordinance barring unhoused inoperable vehicles on properties. Chris Miller, owner of Auto Tech, was cited for vehicles on two of his sites, and he challenged the commission at last week's work session to grant the auto business community special consideration.

* City staff also found Stanley and Janice Streit, Osborne, to be in violation of the ordinance at 412 W. Eighth. They did not appear at the work session.

* The commission will discuss appointing Olga Detrixhe, Hays, to the Sister Cities Advisory Board.