Fort Oglethorpe City Council will be discussing raising rates for using its municipal pool at its May 14 meeting.
“Staff is going to recommend the following increases for the following reasons,” wrote City Manager Jennifer Simpkins in an email. “One, increase the admission price from $4 to $5 for a six-hour day at the pool. This will allow us to raise the hourly rate of our lifeguards to be more competitive with Lake Winnie (Lake Winnie gets a big share of qualified lifeguards).”
“Two,” wrote Simpkins, “increase the price of swim lessons from $30 to $50. The city will contract with the Great White Sharks Aquatics to provide swim lessons this year. We have provided them in-house in the past. The city will keep 40% of the associated revenue for pool operations and maintenance.”
And three, Simpkins wrote, “increase the hourly rental price of the pool for parties from $175 to $200. In the past, we’ve required one lifeguard for up to 25 people. Starting this year, we will require two lifeguards for up to 25 people. Safety is our primary concern.”
Asked if money could be shared from other sources to keep pool rates from rising, Simpkins responded, “Recreation items like the pool should be self-sustaining. The general tax base should not support the pool unless we open it to everyone at no cost. We allow folks to enjoy the pool from anywhere — not just city of Fort Oglethorpe residents.”
Simpkins said the pool has experienced a surplus of revenue over expenditures for the last three out of five years and a deficit for two of those years. The five-year bottom line is a $36,991.14 surplus.
Fort Oglethorpe residents who would like to express their thoughts on the proposals regarding the pool can contact the city at 706-866-2544. The city’s website has contact information for the mayor and council members: fortogov.com. The city can also be contacted through its Facebook page: facebook.com/fortogov. Residents who wish to speak at the May 14 council meeting must call City Hall by 4:30 p.m. on May 10 to be placed on the agenda.