Happy families will be paying less at pool

By NERIDA BLOK

Swimmers are winners as fees take a dive FAMILIES are the winners from last night's council meeting which set pool costs for the $9.75 million upgraded Lismore Memorial Baths.

After lengthy debate, councillors voted 7-1 to adopt a 2005/2006 fees and charges structure that included a reduction in family passes from the proposed $9.50 to $7, and a reduction in the annual family pass from $699.30 to $440.

It was also voted to set one fee all year round.

Cr Jenny Dowell said she was pleased with the overall outcome.

"I'm happy with the family entry charge of $7," she said. "It was really important to keep that down as far below $10."

However she said she was disappointed only babies would be admitted free.

The proposal was for all children under five years to gain free entry.

Complex manager Iain Jones said he respected Cr Dowell's opinion.

But because he represented many pool user groups, he said he felt 'like ham in the sandwich'.

"The two to five-year-olds are the children who normally soil the facility, so that's where the work is involved," he said.

Councillors voted to go with Cr Ros Irwin's suggestion of excluding schools and swimming clubs from paying for hourly facility hire charges.

Cr Dowell's suggestion of ticket books for pool passes was also rejected.

Voting against the new fees, Cr Frank Swintek said the process used to determine the structure 'was bordering on farcical'.

"I'd be very interested to hear what impact this has on the proposed budget of the baths," he said.

The baths are due to open for public use on Saturday, September 17.



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