Monticello sets price for annual swim pass
In preparation for the first full season of the new Monticello City Swimming pool, the City Council approved pool fees by a vote of three to one.
Councilmen Scott Shakespeare, Scott Frost and Craig Leavitt voted in favor and Councilman Brad Randall voted against the fee schedule after a lengthy discussion on the rate for a season family pass.
Assistant City Manager Greg Westfall presented the council with the recreation committee recommendation that the family season pass be set at $350, with no limit on the number of immediate family members who can be admitted with the pass.
Westfall reported that the fee in Blanding is $300 and includes use of the recreation center, however there are only four people allowed to use the pass.
Westfall told the council that the recreation committee had discussed the issue at length before deciding on their recommendation. The committee did not want to put a limit on the number of immediate family members who could use the pass, therefore opting for a higher fee.
There was some discussion over setting fees high enough to cover more costs and limit the amount of subsidization required from the general fund.
Councilman Randall pointed out that before the pool was built a survey of citizens was taken, with the majority of people stating they were willing to pay a higher price for an updated pool. Some councilmen expressed their feeling that a change from $100 for a family pass at the old pool to $350 at the new pool is a significant increase.
There is some concern expressed over setting the fee too high, particularly with new pools being available in Moab and Blanding, in addition to the Cortez Rec Center.
Several Councilmen said it wouldn’t be an issue with the high price of fuel and convenience for parents who do not want to stay at the pool with their children.
The council made a slight adjustment to the recommendation of the Recreation Committee, approving the family season pool pass at a rate of $325. Individual season pass rates are set at $75 for 0-18 years of age and $125 for adults. Senior Citizens will be able to purchase a pass for $100.
City Manager Kelly Pehrson presented the council with a proposal to remove the baseball/softball parent fund and its revenue from the recreation program and allow them to form a 501-c3 non-profit group to administer the funds.
Pehrson told the council the issue has been a concern for city auditors, who have suggested the need to make changes to the administration of the fund and its relationship to the city.
It was reported that the parent fund was created in order to keep money generated by recreation programs within the program. There was concern about the money going into the general fund and not being used for recreation.
Under the parent fund program, money goes directly back to the improvement of the program that generated it. Pehrson reported that Daniel Anderson has volunteered to do all the paperwork involved with setting up the non-profit group.
The parent fund currently retains the money made in the concession stand at the baseball fields, as well as business signs on the fences at the park. Mayor Doug Allen stated he had no problem allowing them to take the concession funds, as the parents are the ones who put in the time to organize and run the stand, but expressed concern about allowing the group to keep the funding from the signs.
Allen told the council that the signs and team sponsorships are a way for the city to offset some of the costs of the recreation department, such as field maintenance and hiring umpires. He said that there needs to be funding to offset these costs so it is not such a drain on the tax payers. It is estimated that the signs generate approximately $1,500 per year.
Councilman Scott Shakespeare said that the city would get much more value from the parent groups participation than they would from the funds generated by selling sign sponsorships and had no problem allowing the group the sales of signage. “It’s all coming back to our kids anyway,” said Shakespeare. The cost of sign sponsorship is $150 in the first year and $100 each year afterwards.
The council was told that the parent fund paid for the movable mounds used at the ball fields and have offered to pay some of the cost of rehabilitating the fields. The group also gave a $10,000 donation to the new city pool.
Mayor Allen said knowing that the money goes right back into the program makes him less concerned about the loss of revenue on signage, but felt that it needed to be stipulated that the money be used specifically for recreation.
Shakespeare made a motion to separate the parent fund from the recreation committee and allow them to take the revenue from the concession stand and the fence sign advertisements with all team sponsorships to be handled by the city recreation department. The motion stated that the agreement will be reviewed annually.
Councilman Scott Frost stated he would like to review the non-profit group’s by-laws prior to making a decision. Shakespeare withdrew the motion and the issue was tabled, pending a council review of the bylaws. The council expects to see a similar proposal from the golf committee in the future.
Mayor Doug Allen reported to the council on a meeting with the Monticello City Police Department. Allen said that there has been citizen concern and dissatisfaction with the enforcement of traffic laws. Allen told the council that the police department was committed to enforcing the laws.
Allen warned the council that there would likely be more tickets written in town for speeding. Also of concern is the lack of seatbelt use in the community.
Allen said that for drivers over the age of 18 it is a secondary offense, but children under 18 are required to be in a seatbelt. As unrestrained passengers under the age of 18 is a primary offense, Allen reported that drivers can and will be pulled over for not buckleing their children. He also reported that there will be more strict enforcement of crosswalk laws, as there is serious concern over locals not being aware of people in crosswalks.
Allen made a point of reminding the council that more strict enforcement of laws was a request of the governing body, therefore “we need to support our police department.” Allen told the council he is sure there will be locals upset if they are cited and the council needs to get behind local law enforcement in their efforts.
Assistant City Manager Greg Westfall reported on the Blue Mountain Triathlon, which was held this past weekend. Westfall told the council that 57 registrations were received, down from 65 the previous year. He told the council that similar events throughout the West are also experiencing lower participation and speculated that it may be driven by the economy.
Westfall discussed the advertising campaign which included radio, newspaper, email, flyers and a facebook page. It is his feeling that they will see a larger payoff from the marketing campaign in the registration for the 2012 race.
The city was able to secure grant funding, as well as many sponsor donations, to offset the cost of the race. Westfall told the council that with a total cost of $7,500 to put on the race, only $2,000 would come out of the city budget, compared to $4,000 in the previous year.
The council approved a request from Pam Sherran to support an adult volleyball league. The council will provide flyers and sign-up sheets and allowing the registration fees to be run through the city.
Mayor Allen expressed his feeling that any cost to the city would be minimal and was happy to promote physical activity for the citizens.