Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Lower Merion pool membership fees could increase 5 percent

A vote at tonight's Board of Comissioners meeting will determine membership fees for Lower Merion's Belmont Hills and Ardmore Avenue pools will increase for summer 2012 by 5 percent for residents and non-residents.

Lower Merion pool membership fees could increase 5 percent

Membership fees for Lower Merion’s Belmont Hills and Ardmore Avenue pools will increase for summer 2012 by five percent for residents and non-residents alike.
Membership fees for Lower Merion’s Belmont Hills and Ardmore Avenue pools will increase for summer 2012 by five percent for residents and non-residents alike. (Josh Fernandez / Philly.com)

Summer may be months away, but that’s stopping Lower Merion officials from deciding the new rate structure for memberships of the township’s two pools.

During the parks and recreations committee meeting last Wednesday, Feb. 1, the board approved that the suggested 5 percent fee increase for pool membership get placed on the agenda for the next board of commissioners meeting.

The recommendations from Lower Merion’s Parks and Recreations department were made to stay on track with the debt service policy of the Belmont Hills and Ardmore Avenue pools, said Recreations Supervisor Donna Heller.

“The policy for cost recovery were set by the Board of Commissioners when the pools were renovated, Ardmore in 2005 and Belmont in 2006,” Heller wrote in an e-mail to Neighbors. “Our recommendations follow the plan adjusting for gains or losses in revenues and or expenses each year with the goal of reaching the established policy by 2027.”

The policy aims to achieve a 100 percent cost recovery for the debt service of Belmont Hills, and 75 percent for the Ardmore Avenue pool by 2027.

Belmont Hills full season membership for a Lower Merion family of three is $329 until April 20, and goes up $362 until May 18 and $398 after May 25. Membership for a Narberth family of three until is $494 until April 20, and goes up to $543 until May 18 and $597 after May 25. Non-Lower Merion or Narberth members pay $717 regardless of sign-up date.

Ardmore Avenue full season membership for a Lower Merion family of three costs $71 until April 20 and goes up to $78 until May 18 and $86 after May 25. Membership for Non-residents, Narberth and elsewhere, costs $265 until April 20, $292 until May 18 and $321 after May 25.

Costs for additional family members and half-season memberships vary.

The memo detailing parks and recreations’ findings and recommendations also reported that non-resident memberships have been on a decline for the last two years for both pools. Ardmore Avenue had a 395 non-residents join in 2009 and dropped to 291 in 2010. In 2011, the number of non-residential memberships dropped to 196.

Belmont Hills non-residential membership has been capped at 250, and the pool had nowhere near that number of residents. The pool had 93 non-residents in 2010 and dropped to 79 in 2011.

To remedy the problem of non-residential membeship decline, Heller said the parks and recreation department is working with the Public Informatio Office to increase advertising, and will cap the membership of non-residents at Ardmore Avenue to 350.

The board will vote whether or not approve the fee increases tonight, at the Feb. 15 Board of Commissioners meeting.

Click here to read more about the potential 2012 rates for both pools.

About this blog
Josh Fernandez is a 2011 graduate of Temple University where he studied journalism and gender studies. He was a writer and editor for The Temple News, and has interned at Philadelphia City Paper and the Philadelphia Daily News. Josh lived in Aston, Pa. in Delaware County before moving to University City in Philadelphia.

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