Archive for Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Council dives into pool rates for 2008 Season

January 16, 2008

The new Tonganoxie municipal swimming pool is still months away from opening, but the Tonganoxie City Council has decided to set the admission rates to the pool for 2008.

In a 4-1 vote, the council agreed to charge $3 for seniors and for children 12 years old and younger; $4 for people ages 13 to 59 years old; and $2 for nonswimmers, such as parents who want to watch their children at the pool.

Mike Yanez, city administrator, recommended the prices by looking at the admission cost for pools in surrounding cities. The highest cost, he said, was Bonner Springs, which charged $5 for any person. The lowest was Eudora, which charged $2 for children and $3 for adults. The majority of the council agreed with these prices, but Council member Paula Crook did not think such a low price would cover the pool's operating costs.

"It looks like we are going by what Lawrence is doing," Crook said. "I just can't see how we can compare ourselves to Lawrence because they have more population. I believe the people that use the pool should be the ones to pay for it."

Crook wanted to see the admission price go to $5 for everyone, and if it was too high to lower it after a few years.

Council member Steve Gumm disagreed. He said raising the price too high might drive away people who otherwise might have wanted to use the new pool. Plus, he didn't want to make any change until the pool operates for a year. At that point, he suggested, the city could get some real numbers and figure out a good price.

"I think it prudent that we see after a one year's worth of operation and we find out exactly what attendance is, what the expenses are, what the revenue was, then we look to set it if it's way out of whack," Gumm said. "We may have such a use that we may not have to do anything with the price, or maybe it's just the opposite and we do actually have to increase the rate."

Council member Jim Truesdell wanted to raise the age limit for the children's price to 17 year olds. But after hearing that 13 was an average age other communities started charging for adult prices and after listening to Crook's concerns about the pool's operations cost, he thought the current proposal was a fair compromise.

Kathy Bard, the assistant city administrator, said in previous years the pool's revenues only covered 70 percent of its costs and the city paid the other 30 percent.

Now that the base price has been established, Yanez will look into the price for season tickets for families and individuals. He already proposed a 20 percent discount for someone who purchases 10 swims and a 25 percent discount for someone who purchases 20 swims.

In other business the council:

¢ Unanimously voted to approve a pay request for Combes Construction in the amount of $106,419.60.

¢ Unanimously voted to approve the cereal malt beverage license for HoP LLC, the new owners of Daniels Bar-B-Q.

¢ Unanimously approved a resolution that will increase the pay of part-time firefighters and part-time police officers from $12 to $12.27 per hour to reflect a 2.3 percent cost-of-living increase.

¢ Spoke with Jan and Weston Jones about any updates with the skate park. Yanez said he was waiting for all of the paperwork from the Tonganoxie School Board for the property south of the fieldhouse on which the park will be built. Once the property changes hands, Yanez plans on meeting with local skaters, engineers and skate park designers to start planning the park.

¢ Approved the purchase of $8,000 in new furnishings for the swimming pool from ABCreative Inc. The furnishings include: four 46-inch square picnic tables, $2,100; two 46-inch picnic tables that are ADA compliant, $1,150; 10 32-gallon trash cans, $1,850; ten trash can dome tops, $550; 10 32-gallon trash can liners, $150; and eight six-foot park benches, $2,200. The council also approved no more than $5,093.80 for 18 chaise lounge chairs from Arlan Company Inc.

¢ Informed by Yanez that the city would be purchasing $1,787 in concessions equipment for the new swimming pool.

He said Gold Medal Products Co., was the industry leader in concessions equipment. The equipment purchased would be: the Ultra P-60 Popper for popping popcorn, $649; the Steamin' Demon hot dog steamer, $519; a nacho cup cheese warmer, $180; and a pretzel display case, $439. Yanez said he wanted to get items that would be easy to use and maintain by the pool staff and would last the city several seasons.

¢ Was informed by Yanez that a new gazebo for the Tonganoxie swimming pool would cost around $30,000. He said city staff could try to find the money but it may not be in the city's best interest to start looking for extra money so early in the fiscal year. He suggested the council budget money for the new gazebo in the 2009 budget. The council agreed. For now the current gazebo will be relocated until a new one replaces it.

¢ Unanimously voted to send Yanez and another city council member to be named later to Washington, D.C., as part of a delegation of the Leavenworth County Development Corporation to meet with U.S. Sens. Sam Brownback and Pat Roberts, and Rep. Nancy Boyda to ask for support in county projects.

Yanez will put together a packet for construction along 14th Street from U.S. Highway 24-40 to East Street. The project was estimated to cost $1 million, and Yanez would like to see an even split between the city and federal monies. Council members Crook, Tom Putthoff and Truesdell all expressed interest in going on the trip, so Tonganoxie Mayor Mike Vestal will have to appoint the council member.

"You said in your campaign that you were going to make the hard decisions," Yanez joked with the mayor.

The funds will come from the economic development line item.

¢ Unanimously voted to accept the application of Bill Peak to fill the unexpired term of Burl Gratny on the Planning and Zoning Board.

¢ Met in executive session for seven minutes to discuss attorney-client privilege. No action was taken.

¢ Met in executive session for 10 minutes to discuss non-elected personnel. No action was taken.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.