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Slight increase in 2010 pool rates

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Village staff is recommending a slight increase in fees for use of the Gaunt Park pool this summer season, according to Village Manager Mark Cundiff at Village Council’s April 4 meeting.

“The goal is to increase pool revenues and hopefully also to crack down on those who take advantage” of the current pool procedures, Cundiff said. The proposal is for a $5 increase for both residents and nonresidents on across-the-board categories, the first increase for resident fees since 2005, according to Cundiff. The increase would fund a new photo ID system for pool admission, which would replace the current system of having pool users wear a numbered tag. Pool staff has found that about seven people per day sneak into the pool using others’ tags, a practice that the photo ID system would eliminate.

The Gaunt Park pool has lost money in operations in recent years.

Council members seemed to support the proposal, and requested that Cundiff prepare an ordinance for the fee increase.

The new system would require adult village residents to pay $95 for a season swim pass, compared to the previous fee of $90; $65 for children aged 4 to 18, compared to $60 currently, and $65 for those 62 and older, compared to the current senior fee of $60. Children under age 4 would have no charge, as is the current practice. The household fee for villagers would be $110, compared to the $105 current fee, which covers five or fewer members, with a $15 charge for each additional member.

Non-resident pool users would be charged $140 per season for adults, compared to the current $135; $95 for children from 4 to 18; and $200 per household.

Daily admissions would increase from $4.75 to $5 for adults; $3 for those 62 and over; and $3 for children aged 4 to 18. As is the current practice, there is no daily charge for children under age 4.

Pool rental fees would also be slightly increased, to $160 per hour, compared to the current $140 per hour.  

In other Council business:

• Council considered a recommendation from Planner Ed Amrhein that the Village soon address the most pressing portion of the North Winter Street improvement project, and next year finish additional work on the street. However, several Winter Street landowners urged Council to move ahead with the whole project.

The topic has sparked disagreement at several Council meetings, since some residents have pushed for an immediate response while others have stated that the Village should address the problem holistically rather than with a “piecemeal” approach based on the complaints of a few citizens.

The Winter Street improvement project had been estimated to cost about $135,000 for a complete reconstruction of the street from Dayton to Cliff Streets, according to Amrhein, who said that he had researched ways to break the project into components to make fixing the most significant problem soon more possible. Winter Street residents have complained since 1993 about drainage problems, he said, and he recommended that the Village address this problem immediately, at a cost of about $20,000, the price of contracting the work.

If this component of the work were addressed, the other components, which involve milling and overlay to resurface the street, could be fixed while the Village addresses its annual street repaving project, which would take place next year since this year’s street program has already been budgeted, according to Amrhein.

However, property owner Paul Abendroth urged Council to address the whole project and to “please do it right and do it all.”

Council asked Cundiff to meet with Amrhein and make a proposal to Council at an upcoming meeting.

• Council unanimously approved the final reading of an ordinance that creates a new economic sustainability commission, which Council members have created to provide a venue for diverse voices on local economic development.

• Council unanimously approved the final reading of an ordinance that approves a lease with Verizon to construct a new flagpole tower behind the Bryan Center. The purpose is to improve phone reception downtown for Verizon users, according to Cundiff, who said the Village will also receive $23,000 yearly rent from Verizon.

• Village Police Chief John Grote recommended that all of the current village holders of liquor licenses be renewed.

• Council approved $600 for travel expenses and a small honorarium for affordable housing specialist John Davis, who will visit Yellow Springs in June to speak on the issue, focusing on other affordable housing efforts taking place nationwide. The cost of the speaker is being shared by Home, Inc.

• Council members approved action steps for the three remaining 2010 Village goals, which cover economic development, reducing the village’s carbon footprint, and providing careful and creative stewardship of land resources. Council had previously approved actions for the other Council goals, which cover being a welcoming community for a diverse population, providing excellent services and enhancing the democratic process.

• Council’s next meeting is Monday, April 19, at 7 p.m. at the Bryan Center.

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