The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 4, 2013

Our View: Out of the pool

The Joplin Globe

JOPLIN, Mo. — If fees for Joplin’s rebuilt Schifferdecker Park pool raise admission from 75 cents to $4 per child, then the headline for this editorial will be the result.

Talk about sticker shock.

On Monday night the Joplin City Council will review Joplin Parks Director Chris Cotten’s proposal to set admission fees to the new Schifferdecker pool and water park at $4 for children ages 3 to 15 and $5 for adults. Prices at the old pool were 75 cents for children and $1 for adults.

We, as well as many of our readers, will be interested to learn more about the pricing. Cotten told our reporter that it’s a new pool with a lot more amenities and will be more expensive to run. But at what point do you price yourself out of business?

Neighborhood kids looking for a place to cool off in the summer won’t have this kind of money.

Cunningham Family Aquatic Center is slated to go up from $2.50 to $3 for kids ages 3 to 15, while Ewert Family Aquatic Center will remain $2.50 for kids age 3 to 15.

While a plan will be presented to sell a reduced-price season pass to families who meet certain income guidelines, we think that many will simply stay at home because they won’t be able to lay out money for a full season all at once.

We hope to hear more about plans for free swim times or reduced-rate family swims that apply to all the taxpayers who have helped build Schifferdecker Pool.

We’re all excited about a new swim center. But we also recognize that $4 swims are too costly for those who used to enjoy splashing several times a week.

If you agree, let your council representative know how you feel.