Wilde Lake rep wants price for pool pass to take a dip


Continuing her campaign theme of making Columbia Association facilities more accessible to city residents, newly elected Columbia Council member Norma Rose wants to sell pool passes, cheaply.

At Thursday night's council meeting, the Wilde Lake village representative proposed offering cards, for $5 apiece, that would entitle residents or their guests to six adult or 12 child admissions to neighborhood pools.

Residents now pay $235 for new family memberships per season. Daily admissions are $7 for adults and $4.75 per child.

Rose noted that council members and association staff often complain that pools are underused, and offered her proposal as a way to change that.

"Our goal should be to increase pool use, not just to generate more income," she said.

The idea was greeted favorably by most council members as a way to generate more interest in neighborhood pools.

"We've got pools that are underused, and we've got kids running around on the street that want to use them," said Charles Ahalt of Hickory Ridge village.

Other council members were supportive, but expressed concern that the one-time offer might discourage people from buying memberships or even anger those who had already purchased them. The estimated $70,000-plus cost of the idea, proposed outside of the budget process, was also questioned.

"We subsidize the pools at $1.4 million a year. If we take another hit, I think were sunk," said Charles Acquard of Kings Contrivance village.

Council members decided to discuss the idea, and other pool promotions such as free days at underused pools, further at their annual planning conference on Saturday at Linden Hall in Dorsey's Search village.

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