Many swimmers in June 2019 enjoy the Alfond Municipal Pool on North Street in Waterville. David Leaming/Morning Sentinel file photo

WATERVILLE — The Waterville City Council has delayed until next week a decision on whether to increase fees this summer at the Alfond Municipal Pool on North Street.

Councilors said the delay will provide Matt Skehan, director of the Parks & Recreation Department, time to work on a proposed fee schedule, with input councilors provided Tuesday night.

At the start of the discussion Tuesday night, Councilor Claude Francke, D-Ward 6, said it has been a difficult year because of the coronavirus pandemic. He recommended the city not increase fees.

Others, including Council Chairman Erik Thomas, D-Ward 7, proposed compromising, noting the city has spent much money on the pool, and the annual debt service on it is $60,000 for the next 20 years. The pool has to move more in the direction of supporting itself, according to Thomas.

“This facility is costing $100,000 a year more than it did before we fixed it up,” Thomas said, “and that money has to come from somewhere.”

The council voted 7-0 to adopt an ordinance regarding use of facial recognition technology, provide $25,000 for Waterville Creates and approve a contract for airport equipment.

School Superintendent Eric Haley, schools Finance Director Paula Pooler and Waterville Board of Education members discussed the proposed $26 million school budget, which represents a $332,233 increase, or 1.29%, to the current $25.7 million budget.

Haley said in a “normal year,” he would be ecstatic about a 1.29% increase. The problem, he said, is local and state revenues are down $140,840, and if that amount is combined with increased expenditures, the budget increase grows to $473,073.

The Board of Education has taken one vote on the proposed budget, which requires another vote.

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