JOPLIN, Mo. —
The days of a dollar swim in Joplin may be over.
Construction is in progress on the $5.8 million pool at Schifferdecker Park to replace a leaking pool. The new one is to open Memorial Day.
Joplin’s parks director proposes setting admission fees to the new 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. None of Joplin’s pools will be priced that low if the City Council approves new rates at its meeting Monday night.
“It’s a new pool with a lot more amenities than the other pools,” said Parks Director Chris Cotten. “It’s a lot more expensive to run” than the old one. “Because of the size, we will have to have twice the staff and the fees will help recover our operating costs.”
Prices at Cunningham Family Aquatic Center, which received new slides during its repair from the 2011 tornado, will go up from $2.50 to $3 for kids ages 3 to 15, and from $3.50 to $4 for anyone older.
Children younger than 2 would be admitted without charge to all the pools.
Cotten said the increase at Cunningham reflects the added play features in the pool. “There is more to do than there has been. Our costs to run the pool are substantial, and we are making more of an attempt to recover our operating expenses,” he said.
Admission at Ewert Family Aquatic Center will cost the same as last year because no changes have been made to it this year, Cotten said. Those rates are $2.50 for kids 3 to 15, and $3.50 for anyone older.
The parks director proposes a program to sell reduced-price season passes to families who are eligible.
Season pass prices are $60 for senior citizens and children 17 and younger, $70 for adults and $125 per year for families. People who receive Women Infants and Children aid, food stamps, Medicaid or Mo HealthNet insurance may apply at the Joplin Athletic Complex for a reduced price season pass.
Cotten said he believes the half-price cost is affordable for those it is intended to help. He said the intent is that children are not singled out in front of their peers if they get in for a reduced price, because all the season passes will look the same.
Jennifer Martucci, president of the Joplin Swim Team, said the rates should be viewed in context of what similar water parks — such as that in Pittsburg, Kan., — charge.
Martucci said the parks director has been working with the swim team on the cost the team will pay to use the new pool.
“The city has additional costs to open it for swim team use, but the parks director has been very good to work with us and try to keep the cost affordable,” she said. Even though the team may pay an increase, “we have been real happy with the parks director working with us.”
Cotten said prices were kept in line with other cities — such as Branson, West Plains, Lamar and Pittsburg — that have similar operations.
Pittsburg charges $4.25 for those 16 and older, and $3.25 for children 15 and younger, and the rates will not be increased this year, a parks department spokesman there said.
Lamar has an aquatic park with a leisure pool, slides, a lap pool and various kinds of spray features. Admission there is higher than Joplin’s proposed new rates: $5 for anyone 4 or older and free for kids 3 and younger.
Joplin’s mayor pro tem, Bill Scearce, has encouraged city staff in the past to keep pool rates, particularly at Schifferdecker, as low as possible and offer free swims. Cotten said there will still be free swims at the pools, though the hours will be adjusted from those of the past.
“I think they’re a little high, of course, but everything’s high these days,” Scearce said of the proposed admission prices. He said he would like to see kids from low-income families receive reduced admission fees, and he advocates free swims for all.
But in view of the cost of building the new Schifferdecker pool and the amenities of the pools, “I’m not going to advocate for reducing the numbers (prices). I think we should pay a fair price for fair value, but I believe we should have the free swims.”
Scearce said the City Council can watch admission trends to see if adjustments in the prices are needed as the season goes along.
“We still will take a financial loss on the cost of the pools,” Cotten said. “But we are still trying to use taxpayer dollars wisely.”
The amenities at the new Schifferdecker pool will include two diving boards, four water flumes, a climbing wall, a log roll, water jets and a lazy river. The new pool also will be suitable for competition swimming and will remain the home of the Joplin Swim Team.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
The days of a dollar swim in Joplin may be over.
- Local News
Joplin Redevelopment Corp. says work on senior living complex, library on track
Affordable Care Act deadline is March 31
Danny and Brenda Newman, of Carl Junction, had a purpose for being at Tuesday night’s informational session about the Affordable Care Act, presented by University of Missouri Extension. They have expensive COBRA health insurance after Danny Newman left his job. They were seeking information about finding something more affordable through the Missouri health care exchange under the Affordable Care Act.
Carthage Council to urge veto of just-approved cell tower bill
The Carthage City Council on Tuesday voted to ask Gov. Jay Nixon to veto a bill passed last week that would take away cities’ ability to regulate the location of cellular towers. Cities in the state lobbied against the measure when it was before the General Assembly, and they now are seeking action from the governor.
Principals address Miami School Board after test scores drop
Seven of the Miami School District’s principals addressed issues inside their schools at a school board meeting Monday night, in the wake of lower evaluation scores from the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
MSSU students, faculty go bald for cancer research
Even before Caitlin Germann had checked out her newly shorn reflection in a mirror, she was inviting her friends to feel her new do. “It feels good; it feels lighter,” she said. “Whenever you wash your hair and feel water on your scalp — it feels like that, but all over. I don’t know how else to describe it.”
Restaurant owners join list of smoke-free establishments
A few years ago, Joplin restaurant owner Mike Pawlus was on the fence. “We wanted to go to no-smoking, but wanted the city to make the call,” said Pawlus, referring to an issue before the Joplin City Council in 2010. The ban ultimately did not fly. Likewise, the Webb City council rejected a similar effort at about the same time, as did the Carthage council.
Letter cites advice on Rohr firing; investigator notes discussions on probe direction, added costs
It was special investigator Tom Loraine who advised Joplin officials in the firing of Mark Rohr without cause, a letter written by Loraine shows. The letter, dated Feb. 20, was obtained by The Joplin Globe through an open-records request filed on March 5.
Hispanics take case for growing presence to state lawmakers
Hispanic advocates gathered Wednesday at the state Capitol, urging lawmakers to remember their voices and their growing clout when voting on key issues. Adolfo Castillo, of Joplin, joined dozens of activists in Jefferson City. Castillo, who previously served on the Missouri Commission on Human Rights, said the size and influence of the Hispanic community continues to grow in Missouri.
Joplin sales tax committee to rank project list
Joplin’s Public Works Department has suggested 43 street and bridge projects for a residents’ panel to rank for funding, contingent upon renewal of the city’s capital improvements sales tax.
Former Joplin city manager says Texas hiring ‘bittersweet’
Mark Rohr had mixed feelings Tuesday night when the City Council of League City, Texas, approved a final contract naming him as city manager. “It is a bittersweet moment for me,” Rohr said by telephone.
- More Local News Headlines
- Joplin Redevelopment Corp. says work on senior living complex, library on track