Last week the Newton City Commission and Newton Recreation Commission met to talk about the future of the municipal pool and options for the future.
During that meeting, five options were presented, created by city staff. Two of them — one to close the pool and one to replace it splash pads — were taken off the table by city commissioners. The direction given to staff was to investigate three optioins— repair the current facility, renovate the facility or replace the facility with a water park. Each option presented contained rough estimates of cost — and each came with a list of pros and cons.
For the most expensive options, renovation of the pool and replacing it with a water park, cons included increased operating costs and the need to hire more staff. Another con jumped off the page — that those options may be duplicated by the YMCA. That drew a question — what are the YMCA's plans? City Manager Bob Myers told the group he did not know what the plans of the YMCA are, he had not talked to them.
"There is nothing in the immediate future for Newton," Shelly Conrady, vice president of marketing and communications for the Greater Wichita YMCA, told The Kansan following an inquiry. "With that said, we are always looking at ways we can better be a part of a community."
The Greater Wichita YMCA, which operates the Newton YMCA, operates four outdoor pools. The organization maintains nine locations. At each of the four outdoor pools currently operated, YMCA members have access. Nonmembers pay the daily drop-in rate for access to outdoor pool facilities.
The daily drop-in rate for non-members at the YMCA is currently $10 for individuals and $18 for a family. The current fees for usage of the municipal pool are $3 for those 14 and up, $2.25 for ages 5 to 13 and children under 5 were free. Evening family swims were $8 per family of five or $2.25 per person. The Rec also offered ticket books to discount that rate.