WATERVILLE — City councilors on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve a fee increase for people who use the municipal outdoor pool on North Street.

The last time fees for the pool were increased was in 2014, according to the city’s parks and recreation director, Matt Skehan. Raising the rates was necessary to offset costs, including the minimum wage increase that went into effect this year, according to Skehan. He said a large part of the pool budget is for lifeguards, most of whom are young people who were making $7.50 an hour and now will earn $9 an hour for working at the pool.

Daily admission to the pool will increase from $4 to $5 for adults who are city residents and $3 to $4 for children who are residents. For nonresident adults, the fee increases from $8 to $9 and for nonresident children, $5 to $6. Season passes for children and adults increase by $5 for residents and nonresidents. In other words, a resident adult pass will increase from $25 to $30 and a resident child pass from $15 to $20. Passes for nonresident adults increase from $50 to $55 and for children, $40 to $45. Family season passes increase by $10, from $40 to $50.

The pool, which opens June 17 for the season, has two water slides, two kiddie pools with features such as dolphins, frogs and a spray pad, and a snack shack. It operates every day, including July 4, for nine weeks. In 2014, 23,000 people came through the gate, in 2015, 22,000, and in 2014 nearly 24,000, according to Skehan. In a memo to city officials, Skehan said that, based on attendance and passes sold over the last two years, he expects the increase in fees will generate $10,800 for the city.

“The outdoor pool is being operated as efficiently as possible in terms of staffing, chemical and supply purchases, utility usage, etc.,” the memo, dated May 5, says. “However, increases from these expense lines, along with an increase in the state’s minimum wage has made it difficult to match revenues. Even with the proposed increases, we believe the outdoor pool is affordable and very much worth the price of admission.”

Councilor Nick Champagne, R-Ward 5, praised Skehan for his attention to the pool and rates.

“Thank you for staying on top of it and adjusting the fees accordingly,” Champagne said.

“We do our best,” Skehan replied.

Councilors approved the demolition of a house at 232 Water St. that was donated to the city. They also voted to appoint Kevin Gorman to the Kennebec Water District Board of Trustees and sell a mobile home at 33 Victoria Drive to the owner of the mobile home park for $3,000. The city had taken the property for nonpayment of taxes.

The council took the first of two votes needed to accept and appropriate a $35,000 grant from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation to buy an advanced cardiac heart monitor-defibrillator and associated emergency medical services supplies.

Councilor Lauren Lessing, D-Ward 3, praised the fire department for its efforts to raise funds.

“My hat is off to the fire department for securing this grant,” Lessing said. “It’s a wonderful thing to see.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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