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Powell Aquatic Center annual membership rates increase by $25

Call it the ripple effect. Now into its second year of operations and with an anticipated budget deficit of roughly $275,000, the Powell Aquatic Center is raising its annual membership rate fees, but daily swimming rates will remain the same.

Effective Oct. 1, annual membership rates at the Powell Aquatic Center will increase by $25. The new rates for individual annual memberships will be $200 for adults, $150 for seniors and $125 for youth (ages 3-21). Family and corporate membership rates also will increase by $25.

“It comes out to an additional $2.08 per month,” said Carrie Parmer, city aquatics director. “Which is still less than a daily pass.”

Fees for daily passes ($4 for adults and $3 for kids and seniors) and punch-pass rates will stay the same.

Third parties who use the aquatic center, including the school district, Powell Swim Club and others, also will see usage rates increase Oct. 1.

The school district’s contract is increasing by just under $14,000 this year, bringing the total to about $80,000. The approved contract, which runs through July 1, 2012, covers everything from Powell High School and middle school swim meets to practices and physical education classes.

During its regular meeting Monday night, the Powell City Council is slated to consider the city’s contract with the Powell Swim Club.

“We have such an amazing facility, and we need to pay to keep it that way. What we found is everyone who utilizes the pool needed to pay a little bit more,” Parmer said.

Parmer said most members have been understanding about the $25 hike in annual fees.

“A lot of them realize we have a great product for a reasonable price, even with the increase,” she said.

Usage of the facility continues to climb.

Currently, the pool has 879 annual members and 623 punch-pass holders, demonstrating steady growth, Parmer said.

Over the summer, between the last day of school in May and the first day in August, 8,015 day passes were sold, Parmer said.

An average summer day drew 157 swimmers, while the busiest day for the fiscal year so far was July 6 with 597 guests.

“We also had 16 days where we had over 200 guests in the pool over the summer. And another three in September,” she said. “Our busiest day in September was just this Monday (Sept. 26) with 540 guests.”

When the city staff set the original membership rates prior to the facility’s May 2010 opening, they essentially were starting from scratch.

Parmer researched rates at comparable aquatic facilities in the region, but city staff wasn’t sure how much the new aquatic center would cost to operate when they established rates.

Now, with a full year of usage numbers and operating costs, the city is increasing membership rates to better align with actual expenses.

“We looked at what it’s actually costing us to operate the facility during those hours,” Parmer said, noting the facility is open to the public about 90 hours per week.

Parmer said the rate increases will help curb the pool’s budget deficit.

“We tried to keep rate increases straight across the board, as well as cut where we could,” Parmer said.

For example, Parmer said the staff has looked at ways to cut in numerous areas including software, concessions, education, training and other costs, since some programs involve more travel expenses.

“We’re more selective in what we do,” she said, adding that lifeguards will still go through the same certification and training process.

The aquatic center staff also has brainstormed more ways to promote the facility and attract new swimmers.

The center’s first-ever Family Day will be Saturday, Oct. 8, when the entire family can swim for $10.

Beginning in October, the center will host a night for scuba divers on the first Friday of every month and for kayakers on the second and fourth Friday each month.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, swimmers who bring a non-perishable food item for Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes will get in free for the day.

“We wanted to give back to the community, because they’ve been so good to us,” Parmer said. She encouraged residents to find that extra can of vegetables on the back shelf or other non-perishable food item and use it to come swim for free.

Park County voters approved a 1-cent tax to provide $9 million for the city-owned Powell Aquatic Center in November 2006. The project also received funding from several other sources.

Construction of the $10.3 million aquatic center began in the fall of 2008, and an eight-lane pool, along with a continuous river and leisure pool, opened in May 2010.

For more information about the membership rates increase, visit www.powellaquatics.com or call 754-0639.

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13 comments

  • posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    October 03, 2011 8:47 am

    As I said,Park County is full of phony RINO's who are so stuck in their ways they will never deviate from thinking outside the box.You people who think you have some sort of bubble over this area are delusional as all get out.What are you fools gonna do when all these transplants moving in decide they are not all phony RINO's who will "follow the herd" like you all have done for so many years? Personally I hope more move in and change this town as it really needs a good cleaning out of all the trash that has accumulated here for generations.And I know you all know the ones.Have a nice day,RINO's. As one poster put it,think about all the corruption in this town,and the **** poor leadership and mismanagement of money.

  • posted by Jeff Jones

    October 02, 2011 2:46 pm

    Disgusted taxpayer,
    You make it so easy to shoot holes in your whining. I am not going to hit a guy when he is down. Kind of pathetic. Hang in there. Jeff Jones

  • posted by Christopher Kuntz

    October 01, 2011 12:35 pm

    All,
    Don't get upset with each other, the enemy is on the City Council & in the Mayor's office. I am an "Outsider" to Powell, Park County & WY politics, but I am not unfamiliar with the criminal minds who hold office, in/at various levels of government, thoughout our country. I moved to Powell 5 years ago from Fayetteville, NC (aka Ft. Bragg). It was there I received my 1st taste of City Council corruption. Before I was introduced to City Council corruption there, I figured a position on City Council was for people who dreamed of being President. But the Fayetteville City Council, like the Powell City Council, showed me a whole new world of corruption. The Fayetteville City council had squandered their budget, and could not raise tax revenue. They researched the Laws, and found a law from the late 1800s that allowed them to "Force Annex" people into the city limits (code for gathering for tax revenue without a vote). The council members put into action, a plan for people on Septic, to be forced onto city water & sewage due to this annexation, at the home owner's expense ($5K cost). This almost doubled my property tax. That same city council OK'd a plan for the DOT to run a branch of I-95 through Fayetteville. But, before everything was made official, several City Council members purchased the land where the exits would connect with existing road infrastructure. They then turned around and leased the land to Fast Food francises, and gas station francises. What makes you think this current Powell City Council is any different a criminal element, than my good buddies in NC? Tired of the pool everyone knew could not be sustained in a downward spiraling economy? Ever wondered if Powell City Council members took kick-backs from construction companies? Tired of the Fiber Optic fiasco? Remember the consulting fees they paid a corrupt consultant? Don't fight amongst yourselves, just do not frequent these two "services". My family of 4, will now cost $650 for a year membership. I can get an inflatable pool for $99. I can use the remaining monies, for refreshments, steaks, and firworks. What needs to happen; we need to turn Powell Aquatic Center, into a Hooters & Outback Steakhouse (single folks on one side, married folks w/ families on the other). This will create real jobs for Powell, create real revenue for Powell, poach some of the tourist dollars from the city of Cody, and actually create a place to eat, that has a lively atmosphere, unlike that of the typical atmosphere found at most of the local watering holes and eateries. Lets get our City Council to vote on that concept.

  • posted by Wayne Gullickson

    September 30, 2011 3:45 pm

    What happened to pride in a community where we say that we are proud to be where we are in America?? You critics believe that by always finding the negative in all things that you are important and that you are making a difference. You are spineless crybabies-- come on out and show us what you got... You don't have it in you.. SAD :(

  • posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    September 30, 2011 1:42 pm

    At least I ain't a phony RINO,Jeff Jones,and Powell,along with therest of PORK County,is full of RINO's.Say one thing,do the opposite,this whole area needs white washed of these phonies.Many yeras ago,Powell,and Cody,were half decent places to exist,but these "clicks" and "RINO's" have taken over since,and where are the jobs to pay for all the pork barrel projects you people want? Don't accuse me of making excuses when all I see is excuses from the local leaders.You are what you eat,and you are not who you portray to be.

  • posted by Jeff Jones

    September 30, 2011 10:11 am

    I hear a lot of excuses "disgusted taxpayer." Life is not fair for you and it is all the elected officials fault. Their is nothing you can do about it because the elected officials are just a "click." Instead, your strategy is to criticize while hiding behind a computer screen. How has that strategy worked for you? Have you impacted positive change with that strategy? Or are you more interested in just complaining rather than being a part of a solution? Oh wait, you can't be a part of the solution because of those darn elected officials and their "click." If you are 14 years old, I will excuse your behavior. Jeff Jones

  • posted by Disgusted taxpayer

    September 30, 2011 7:10 am

    Seems to me the first amendment is still applies here,so running for office in this town is moot,unless one is included in one of the tight clicks around here,and you people know it,so can the almighty BS.Truth be known,you that ***** about others ******** have no idea about fixing the lack of common sense problem in Powell either.When taxes have to go up to pay for these boondoggles,don't come crying.

  • posted by clipstein

    September 30, 2011 2:43 am

    You just cannot fix stupid........everyone knows who i am and so what is your problem except a backbone....... where is Josh

  • posted by Wayne Gullickson

    September 29, 2011 4:03 pm

    I will say it again RUN FOR OFFICE AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE - you are critic's who are bitchin and hiding behind your made up names

  • posted by Salty Dawg

    September 29, 2011 4:01 pm

    Like Fred Thompson says,for all you RINO's,"why do they call it common sense,when there is so little of it?". Where was the common sense when the money flowed like wine on these pork barrel projects that will never pay for themselves?

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