Swim club will have to pay increased pool feesDespite arguing against it, the Red Wing Swim Club will have to pay fees to use the pool at Twin Bluff Middle School.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Despite arguing against it, the Red Wing Swim Club will have to pay fees to use the pool at Twin Bluff Middle School.
However, the Red Wing School Board agreed to reimburse the club about $900 in increased fees the club paid during June and July 2011.
Swim club co-president Perry Sekus, along with several members of the club and their parents, attended the April 16 board meeting, protesting the higher fee.
Red Wing Community Education and Recreation increased fees on all district facilities last year. The new prices, which raised pool costs for the club from $12.90 an hour to $17.50 an hour, were to go into effect June 1, 2011.
The club said the notice about the increased fees was sent to a former club president, and current members were unaware of the increase until October.
The club conducted registration in late summer 2011, keeping fees for swimmers flat. Members said paying an additional $900 stretched the club thin.
“Now we’re financially hardened,” Sekus said.
Club members also protested the fee increase in the middle of their March-July season.
But Board member Mike Christensen said all the sports clubs that use district facilities have different seasons.
“We can’t accommodate every activity with specific timelines. We need to have our own timeline,” he said. “The rates are subject to change.”
“And that’s in the contract,” added community education Director Dawn Wettern.
Many board members brought up the fact that facility use fees hadn’t changed since 2005.
“For six or seven years, the cost stayed the same,” Board member Dennis Porter said. “All of a sudden, it’s whoa, costs are getting tight (for the district).”
The matter was sent back to community education this month. The advisory council recommended the club pay the increased fees.
However, School Board members voted 6-1 to amend the recommendation Monday evening, agreeing to reimburse the club $900.
The board then voted 6-1 to approve the committee’s recommendation with the amendment. Christensen, who is a member of the advisory council, opposed both votes.
“We are disappointed that the School Board maintained the 30 percent fee increase,” Sekus said in an email Monday. “We appreciate that the board took the time to listen to the swim club and ultimately decided to reimburse the club for the June and July 2011 fee increases.”