Feb 23 2013

Seniors will pay 55% more for 2013 Seasonal Pool Pass

City Council Approves New Pool Fees –  

On February 19, the City Council approved by a 3-1 vote * the 2013-14 Piedmont Community Pool fees and schedules.  The weekend Youth (resident and non-resident alike) drop-in fee will be reduced from $7.50 to $7.00 .  Because Friday will no longer be considered a weekend day, Friday drop-in fees will be reduced for all walk-in swimmers.  (Resident adults will pay $10 instead of $15, non-resident adults will pay $20 instead of $30 and all youths will pay $5 instead of $7.50 Friday drop-in fee.)

While many day fees will be reduced, Family annual passes  for both residents and non-residents will increase $100 and family seasonal passes will increase $75 for both.  Piedmont seniors will pay $125 more, the greatest increase.   (Non-Piedmont seniors will pay a 30% increase for the same Seasonal Pass. )  Councilmember Keating advocated no increase in the Senior Seasonal Pass and either an increase in the Annual Passes or a reduction in the hours of the pool to reduce the General Fund subsidy required for pool operation.

Rather than increasing Family passes and lowering day fees, Jake Pacheco suggested that the Family pass fees be reduced and the daily, walk-up fees increased to encourage swimmers to buy annual or seasonal passes.  Rob Kobal supported the afternoon “free time” swim schedule, but questioned the opportunities for unskilled young swimmers with a parent in the main pool.  Recreation Department Director Mark Delventhal responded that the new schedule includes a Splash Zone for young children with floatation devices in the main pool.

In response to an inquiry from Ralph Catalano about  pool operation and capital replacement costs, City Administrator Grote said the Council recently established a Facilities Maintenance Fund where money can be set aside annually for maintenance of all City facilities, including the community pool.  However, he noted that the funding required to replace the community pool with a new swim facility will be substantial and thus require a special funding mechanism.

The 2013-2014 pool hours are unchanged except for the 6:30am (instead of 7am) opening on Saturday mornings.

May 1, 2013 – April 30, 2014 Fee Schedule

Annual Pass (12 months from date of purchase)

  • Family All Hours –  increase from $850R/$950NR  to  $890R/$990NR **
  • Adult Individual –  $750R/$850NR  (No Change)
  • Senior Individual – $575R/$650NR  (No Change)

Seasonal Pass (May thru October)

  • Family All Hours  – increases from $495R/$570NR to $520R/$595NR
  • Adult Individual  – $425R/$500NR (No Change)
  • Senior Individual  – increases from $225R/$325NR to $350R/$425NR

Gate (walk-up) Fees:

Monday-Friday (instead of Monday – Thursday) 8am-5pm

  • Adult –  $10.00R/$20.00NR (No Change except Friday reduction to weekday rates)
  • Youth –  $5. 00 both R and NR  (No Change except Friday reduction to weekday rates)

Saturday 2pm-6pm

  • Adult – $15.00R/$30.00NR (No Change)
  • Youth – reduced from $ 7.50  to $7.00 both R and NR

Sundays= Pass Holders and Guests only.  No gate/walk ups.

* Vice Mayor Margaret Fujioka, Councilmembers Robert McBain and Jeff Wieler in favor. Councilmember Garrett Keating opposed.  Mayor John Chiang was absent.

** R = Resident, NR = Non-Resident

2 Responses to “Seniors will pay 55% more for 2013 Seasonal Pool Pass”

  1. The norm throughout the State and in other local cities is to give seniors a discount, usually starting at 10%. Our City Council responds by raising senior fees 55% for a seasonal pass. On March 5 we vote on the Measure A school tax, a school tax literally twice to over 100 times more than other school taxes. Most of the other School Districts, including those rated academically above Piedmont, have a senior exemption. Measure A has no useable senior exemption; the SSI exemption claimed to be a “low-income” senior exemption by Proponents is absurd in Piedmont. And the sharply regressive flat tax structure further punishes fixed income seniors in smaller homes.

    In Piedmont athletic facilities and a great school system come at the expense of substantially worsening the economic situation of seniors who are other than very affluent.

  2. Seniors do get a discounted pool use fee even with this sizeable increase. What is odd about the approved increases is the absence of any relationship of these increases to the pool subsidy. Seasonal families and seniors as well as seasonal activities such as swim lessons already provide almost 70% of pool revenues. Yet the bulk of pool costs can be attributed to operating the pool for the benefit of the annual users and principally lap swimmers. No other public or private pool in the area provides the hours of pool use and lane limitations nor at such reduced cost as the Piedmont Pool does. Comments by Mr. Sakol to charge families more and Councilman Wieler to raise the daily walk-in fee are disingenuous when it is summer community use of the pool and General Fund transfer of $100000 that subsidizes the year-long aquatics use.

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