Council decides pool rates
With only 45 days left until the start of the 2009 pool season, the city is getting ready to once again open the doors to the Tonganoxie Water Park.
But before season passes could be sold, the Tonganoxie City Council had to decide at Monday’s meeting on the rates for this year.
City Administrator Mike Yanez proposed that the city should keep its rates the same as last year to keep pool revenues about the same. He said although more than 17,000 visitors used the pool for the 54 days it was open, the city had more cost with maintaining the pool.
“There is probably no public swimming facility in the world that is totally self sufficient by user fees,” Yanez said. “In every community it appears taxpayers subsidize parts of the operation of the swimming.”
Before making its final decision, the council took many things into consideration, including the state of the economy.
Overall the prices for season passes were reduced for residents and non-residents.
The rates are as follows: Daily admission, child, $3, senior, $3, adult, $4, non-swimmer, $2; 10-swim ticket book, child and seniors, $25.50, adults, $34; 20-swim ticket book, child and seniors, $48, adults, $64; season passes for residents, child, $50, adult, $75, seniors $50, and a family pass is $130; non-residents season passes, child $65, adult $85, seniors $65, and a family pass is $150.
The board also changed the policy for infants. Now children under two years of age will be allowed in for free. The water park continues to consider a patron under the age of 12 but older than 2 years old as a child, patrons 13 – 59 years old as adults and seniors are 60 years and older. A family is made up of parents with up to three dependents under the age of 18. Additional family members could be added to a season plan for an additional cost, $20 for residents and $30 for non-residents. A resident is an individual or family whose primary residence is located within the city limits of Tonganoxie and a non-resident are patrons whose primary residence is outside of the city limits.
The council voted 4-1 for the rate changes. Councilmember Paula Crook, who proposed to increase the age at which infants can get in for free voted against the changes and said she thought the rates shouldn’t be changed from last year.
In other business the council:
• Unanimously approved temporary use permit for Brenda Woods to run the seasonal farmers market.
• Unanimously approved the appropriation to Evans Real Estate for payment to EMC Insurance for ambulance malpractice insurance.
• Listened to a proposal from Ursula Kissinger, Tonganoxie Elementary School physical education instructor, about the possibility of adding a dedicated bike lane along Pleasant Street. She said she had visited other cities with bike lanes and thinks Tonganoxie could benefit from one on the newly expanded Pleasant Street and to coincide with the city’s new sidewalks.
“As a physical education teacher I am always trying to get the kids to be active outside the class,” Kissinger told the council. “I feel like we are kind of lacking a bicycle area. It’s really crowded and we have a lot of traffic and my concern is for the children’s safety.”
Councilmember Jason Ward said he liked the idea of making Tonganoxie more pedestrian and bicycle friendly, but was concerned about older neighborhoods where the streets would be too narrow to accommodate traffic and a bike lane. The council said it would look into the possibility of bike lanes and into the possibility of dedicated bike routes.
• Janet Falk came to talk to the council about starting a recreational swimming team that would take advantage of the new Tonganoxie Water Park. She said she and other parents were willing to coach the team on a volunteer basis. She estimated that it would cost around $1,750 to fund the team, but she thinks she could raise the money with membership fees.
The there was a consensus among the council to allow the team to use the facility before it opens to the public and to possibly use the facility to host swim meets in the future as long as it would not interfere too much with the public using the pool. Before the city would allow a team to use the pool the city would need to check with their insurance provider to see if they would be covered for the team.
• Unanimously approved a $4,500 contract with BG Consultants, the city’s engineering firm, for design of a pedestrian crossing beacon system to replace the traffic light at U.S. Highway 24-40 and Northstar Drive. The existing light will be moved to U.S. 24-40 and Main Street and that intersection and the intersection at the highway and Laming Road will be improved. The total cost of the project is estimated around $911,000. The Kansas Department of Transportation has pledged $600,000 for the project.
• Unanimously voted to pass a resolution authorizing the city to participate in the Leavenworth County Mutual Aide Association Automatic Aid Agreement.
• Unanimously voted to an agreement between the City of Tonganoxie and Leavenworth County to provide matching funds for federal grant applications for radio equipment.
* Unanimously voted to put out a request for proposals for financing of two new police vehicles for a total cost of $60,242.
• Discussed a letter Moody’s Investors Services, who gave the city a financial rating of A3.
• Voted 4-1 to allow Mike Yanez, city administrator, to carry over 70 hours of vacation time to this year. Crook, who was the dissenting vote, read from the minutes of a March 24, 2008 city council meeting where Yanez had asked to carry over unused vacation time. In that past meeting, the council approved the carry over under the condition that Yanez use his vacation time because it was the last year they would approve the carryover. After approving the vacation time on Monday, the council told Yanez to use his vacation time because this would be the last year they would allow it to be carried over. Yanez stated that work duties and commitments have not allowed him to take his annual leave.