Pool prices could double if parks district levy fails

Cost of using the Oak Harbor pool could potentially double if the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District’s replacement levy doesn’t pass in November.

On Thursday, Executive Director Steve McCaslin gave the board of commissioners drafts of a modified operations schedule, modified operations budget and a fee and rate structure worksheet.

Based on the anticipated revenue generated from the modified schedule, McCaslin’s budget currently shows the district would be $38,000 in the red with current pricing.

The board wasn’t prepared to start throwing out numbers.

“I don’t think we should look at (them) without knowing what attendance will be,” said Commissioner Wendy Shingleton.

The board agreed McCaslin should create a proposed fee schedule adjusted to balance the budget.

They agreed to suspend the sale of annual and semi-annual passes with the potential of eliminating them completely.

They also indicated the new prices should reflect an additional 10 percent cost to patrons who live outside of the district.

As the discussion on increasing prices continues, the board will look at potentially implementing a charge for patrons who choose to use a debit/credit card to cover the cost of having a point-of-sale system.

The park board is holding a special meeting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3 at the pool to discuss the Blue Heron Booster Club contract.

Board Chairwoman Donna Sue Holly called the meeting because she said she believes there’s a discrepancy between what the district is charging the booster club versus what it charges the school district for lane use.

The district is asking voters in November to renew its existing levy at 17 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. It costs the owner of a $270,000 home, which is the medium home value in Oak Harbor, $46 each year.

The levy provides the district more than half its annual revenue to support operations at the pool, a dog park and ball fields.

The district spent $32,000 to run the levy in the August primary and it failed with more than 51 percent of voters opposed.

To pass, the levy needs a voter supermajority.

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