Swimming for kids and adults at Spokane City pools this summer will be FREE, after the Park Board approved a proposal this week.
"Parks and Recreation would like to reduce barriers for the community to access open swim times across all neighborhoods and to increase attendance for open swim, especially at underutilized pools like Liberty, A.M. Cannon and Hillyard," the City said in a press release. "We also have a goal of helping more kids learn to swim, so they have this important life skill and benefit from the health aspects of swimming."
Operating all six pools last year cost the City just over $1 million, but revenue came in at just under $200,000.
Funding for the proposal in 2018 will come from previous annual reserve excess. In 2019 and beyond, free swim will become part of the annual budget. No level of services within Parks and Recreation will be negatively impacted.
The approved proposal includes free open, parent-tot (a calm and exclusive swim time in the zero-entry area) and lap swimming, plus family nights. Swim lessons, novice swim team, aquatics fitness programs, and pool rentals will continue to have "affordable, family-friendly rates."
The City says there will be a small reduction in staffing, but the number of lifeguards will not change.
In 2017, rates were $2 for children and $4 for adults. People who have already purchased a season pass for 2018 will be refunded.
The aquatics season runs June 18 – August 25, with an extended season at Witter pool for lap swim from May 7 – September 14.
(story and photo: KHQ.com)