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City approves pool fee increases, denies library meeting room fees

Nevada pool patrons will notice changes to a number of fees when they visit the aquatic center this summer.

The Nevada City Council unanimously approved fee increases and the creation of a toddler admission fee during their meeting Monday night, Jan. 27.

The approved fee changes are the following:

• general admission fee (ages 4-54) will increase from $4/person to $5/person

• a $2.50/person toddler (2- and 3-year-olds) admission fee will be added

• Twilight swim admission will increase 50 cents, from $2 to $2.50/person, with start time at 5 p.m. instead of 5:30 p.m.

• increase punch pass from $40/10 punches to $45/10 punches

In previous years, general admission fee for toddlers was $4 — only those 1-year-old or younger could get in for free.

Tim Hansen, parks and recreation director, said the fees are always a point of concern for the park board. He looked at fees charged at other pools in the surrounding area and determined, with the proposed increases, Nevada’s facility would still be cheaper than some facilities, while higher than others. When determining the fees, the board takes into consideration operating costs while trying to keep them at a level everyone can afford. Hansen said they work with the school to provide scholarships or financial assistance to families who otherwise may not be able to afford pool fees.

Library meeting room fee

Also on the agenda was a proposed $10 hourly charge to use the new meeting room at the Nevada Public Library.

Library Director Beth Williams said prior to the library expansion project, the meeting room was much smaller than the new one, which can hold 100 people. The library board was concerned that if they let people use the expanded meeting room for free, it would take away business from the senior center and Gates Hall, which both charge fees for their space. The board considered waiving the fee for nonprofit organizations that use the room, but determining what groups are nonprofit versus those that are not can be “very gray at times,” Williams said.

Councilman Jim Walker was concerned that people would be discouraged from using the library’s meeting room now that they have to pay a fee, especially if they had been using the library as a meeting place prior to the renovations.

“I hate to see people being driven away because of the cost,” Walker said.

Several study rooms that can hold six people were added as part of the library expansions. Williams said smaller groups can use these areas if they do not want to pay a fee.

After much discussion, a motion to approve the hourly charge failed by a 3-3 vote. The library board has the option to revisit the meeting room fee and bring a new proposal to the council at a later meeting, if they choose.

Other agenda items included:

• Approval of the purchase of a water feature replacement for the pool — One of the water play features in the zero-depth area of the pool broke last year. Council unanimously approved the purchase of a Sillier Serpent Head for just more than $9,000. The serpent head will be installed later this year prior to the opening of the pool.

•Approval of the purchase of 144 lounge chairs for the pool — The 180 current lounge chairs are 13 years old and are showing their age. Hansen said they will store some of the existing chairs that are in better condition and only get them out when needed. Council unanimously approved a bid submitted by Taylor & Associates in the amount of just more than $14,000 for the purchase and installation of the new chairs.

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