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Swimming, golfing and using park pavilions may soon cost more in Burley

Burley pool

A Burley employee power washes the inside of the municipal swimming pool on Tuesday.

BURLEY — It may soon cost residents a little more to go swimming at the city pool, rent a city park pavilion, or use some city services like high pressure water or sewer connection.

The Burley City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed fee increases at 7 p.m. May 4 at City Hall.

Burley City Councilman John Craner, who is on the city’s recreation committee, said although it looks like some of the fees are new, some were previously being charged but not officially on the city records.

“But, some will include small increases,” he said.

Most of the fees under consideration, Craner said, are use fees and the general public will only pay those fees if they use the services.

“Why raise the taxes on someone’s home if they never go to the golf course?” Craner said.

Open swim fees are proposed to go up 50 cents to $3 and family swim will increase by $3 to $15.

Other swim fees include lessons for levels one and two going up $5 to $20, mommy and me classes will increase $2 to $15, swim lessons levels three through six will increase $5 to $25, adult swim class will go up $5 to $25, private lessons will raise $5 to $50, semi private lessons will increase $8 to $40 and pool rental will increase $25 plus $2 per person, to $75 plus $2 per person.

If the proposal is approved, swim team members will pay $30, but the fee will give them access to the pool at any time during the season and people taking swimming lessons only pay the fee and not the fee plus pool access charges.

“We are having to pay staff considerably more at the pool,” City Administrator Mark Mitton wrote in an email to the Times-News. “The pool never makes money and we are only trying to stay even with the increasing costs. Park pavilions are the same, after every use we need to clean them and we pay more for seasonal help, if we can get it.”

The rental of park pavilions will increase from $10 or $15 depending on the pavilion, bandstand rental per day will go up $50 plus $15 for extension and sound and $25 for electricity.

Other fees under consideration are stop payment requests on utilities ($35), second pickup of an animal by animal control ($35), third and subsequent pickups ($50), name transfer at cemetery ($50 per space), library e-card access ($10), and replacement library cards and charges for non-resident families will include tax.

Other fees under consideration are residential and commercial base high pressure water and flow fees, industrial wastewater fees, residential and commercial sewer connection and inspection fees, garbage pickup for 300 gallon containers, advertisement for zoning change, new right-of-way permit fees including application, inspection, bond per permit and insurance per permit.

Mitton said a new building where residents can lease space to store their own golf carts at the city course is under construction at the club house. The city is proposing an rental fee of $400.

Craner said there are more than three dozen cart stalls and all of them but three or four are already spoken for.

The metal building should be completed in a couple of months, he said.

“We see it as a break-even point for the golf course and maybe even a money maker,” Craner said. “The golf course is just about paying for itself now.”

In the past, the city had to subsidize the golf course from general funds and at one point city officials tried to find a private company to lease it from the city.

“COVID was a blessing for the golf course. People just flocked to the course for recreation. During the last year we sold more memberships and it had more use than ever,” he said. “We think we’re on the uptick with it.”

A couple of years ago the city built a kitchen at the golf club house, because state law required it in order to maintain the liquor license, Craner said.

A fee structure for club house rental use was never put in place, he said.

The proposed fees are for golf club house rental is $200, club house rental with food provided by caterer is $300, and club house and kitchen rental is $400.

The space, Craner said, provides the public with a venue option for special events like wedding receptions, anniversaries and birthday parties.

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