Clint Meinig approached the Paola City Council last week with concerns about pricing at the Paola Family Pool, and it didn’t take long for the council members to take action.
Meinig spoke during the public comment portion of the May 22 meeting, and he expressed concerns that council members said they’ve also heard from several other residents. With about a dozen supporters seated in the audience behind him, Meinig talked about how he and his wife planned to get a family pass to use the Paola Family Pool during the summer.
Meinig soon discovered that Paola did not offer such a pass, and he would have to pay the $60 season pass price for himself, his wife and two children. His third child is young enough to use the pool for free. The total price for the family would have been $240.
Meinig said the fee is much more than neighboring communities. He mentioned Spring Hill, which offers a family pass for $115 for residents, and Gardner, which offers a family pass for $140 for residents.
Mayor Artie Stuteville said the city of Paola once offered a family pass, but it was abused by residents, and the city had no way of controlling families that suddenly grew from two to 10 or more. The city decided to do away with it entirely and stick with the $60 season pass for everyone except seniors 62 and older, who pay $30.
The council members decided to tackle the issue later in the meeting, when Paola City Clerk Dan Droste proposed an alternative. Droste said he previously called Louisburg City Clerk Traci Storey to see what type of passes are offered at the Louisburg Aquatic Center.
Louisburg offers a family pass in which an adult can get a season pass for $45, and other family members can be added to the pass at a cost of $35 each. The Paola City Council members liked the idea and approved a similar policy for the Paola Family Pool. Droste said the new offering is called an adult-child pass, and it costs $45 for the adult and $35 for each family member added, with a maximum of six total people per pass.
The pass currently is available, and Droste said refunds have already been given for the season passes that have already been purchased by families this year.
The new pass will save the Meinig family $90.