Columbia Council wants new rates for rec facilities next year New policy established on daily admissions

February 26, 1993|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff Writer

The Columbia Council plans to re-evaluate its rate structure for memberships to the town's wide variety of recreational facilities -- but not this budget year.

The council approved changing its policy on daily admissions to Columbia Association facilities in a straw vote at a work session last night on the fiscal year 1994 budget. But the council agreed to leave more complicated issues concerning annual membership rates for further study next year.

The council is scheduled to vote formally Monday night on the proposed $30.7 million budget, which would take effect May 1, as would the other issues the council acted on last night.

The council's nonbinding vote last night establishes a policy that restricts daily admission of adults to most CA facilities to Columbia residents only. Nonresidents have been able to pay a xTC daily admission fee to enter Columbia's pools or athletic clubs.

The new policy would not include Columbia's ice rink, roller skating rink and the Splashdown water amusement center.

In another straw vote, the council approved a change in the policy governing admission of guests to CA facilities.

Under the change, a guest, regardless of place of residence, can use CA facilities up to five times annually if accompanied by a member. Currently, only nonresidents of Howard County can visit facilities as guests.

Council members also discussed setting a sliding scale for families depending on the number of children, establishing a discount rate for seniors during nonpeak hours, and making membership rates a better value for those who pay annual property liens to CA compared to "non-lien payers."

The council has been discussing the issue of placing more "value" on facilities memberships for Columbia residents who pay to CA the annual property lien of 73 cents per $100 of assessed value.

"For 1995, we should look at the lack of significant difference between CA rates and non-CA rates, but I don't have a specific proposal to make for this budget cycle," said Council Chairman John M. Hansen of Harper's Choice.

Vice Chairwoman Karen A. Kuecker of Owen Brown recommended establishing a subcommittee to review all membership rates for the 1994-1995 budget year.

"Now's not the time for a new rate structure," she said.

In another straw vote, the council restricted use of the proposed new 18-hole Fairway Hills Golf Course to CA lien payers.

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