PIEDMONT — Taking a dip in the city pool jumped in price on Tuesday.
The Piedmont City Council voted to raise costs for individuals, families and parties at the city aquatic center. Council members said the rate increases were needed to help cover pool maintenance costs and fill needs in the city’s tight budget.
The council approved the rate jumps during its regular Tuesday meeting.
The city pool opens to the public on Memorial Day.
For a one-day pass, the cost was raised to $7.50 from $5 per person. A season pass was doubled to $100 for individuals.
The council also doubled the family season pass to $200 per family.
Meanwhile, private parties at the pool will cost $175 instead of the previous $145 per event.
Councilman Bobby Hardin, who motioned for the rate increases, said they were needed and justified.
“We’ve got one of the nicest pools in the area,” Hardin said. “The more people there are using it, the more wear and tear it gets.”
Hardin also suggested the new rates in response to a discussion the council had earlier in the meeting about the city’s tight budget and the need to raise revenue.
Mayor Bill Baker and council members Ben Keller and Mary Bramblett voted against raising the rates, arguing that they first wanted an opinion from Jeff Formby, parks and recreation director, who didn’t attend the meeting.
“I think it’s only fair we have Jeff here to talk about these things,” Baker said.
Also during the meeting, the council gave Chief Freddie Norton permission to seek bids for two new patrol cars. Councilman Greg South, who suggested the council buy the cars, said recent jumps in traffic citations by the department would help cover the cost of a least one new vehicle.
Norton said after the meeting that his department has seven vehicles, which range in age from 2003 to 2013 models. Also, all of them have high mileage. The car with the lowest mileage has 80,000 miles on it, Norton said.
“We have cars that run 16 hours a day,” Norton said.
Norton said he’d have bids to bring back to the council for a vote at an upcoming meeting.
The council also gave Casey Ponder, city electric supervisor, permission to seek bids for two pickup trucks. Ponder said the trucks would be used for reading electric meters on homes.
Ponder said reading meters takes a toll on vehicles.
“We’re having to go to every home,” Ponder said.
The council will vote on the truck bids at a later meeting.
Staff Writer Patrick McCreless: 256-235-3561.
On Twitter @PMcCreless_Star.