Pool family pass reinstated

Family passes at the Tracy Aquatic Center will be offered this summer after all, city council members decided Monday.
The family passes will be $150 for a resident family of four, and $20 for each additional family member up to a maximum of eight.  A non-resident family pass will be $170 for up to four people, with $20 for each subsequent person.
One month ago, the council had approved a new rate schedule that dropped the family season pass in favor of individual passes of $50 for a resident.  The council subsequently received protests that the lack of a family pass would make the aquatic center too expensive for large families.  Two weeks ago, the council referred the issue back to a pool advisory committee for further review.
City Administrator Madonna Peterson said the pool committee felt that reviving the family pass, at the new rates, was a fair compromise, getting rid of the perception that the pool was too expensive for families.
“We don’t want to undermine families,” said Mayor Steve Ferrazzano.
Consensus of council members that with the addition of the family pass, the Tracy pool’s rates would be “very competitive” with swimming facilities in Slayton and Marshall.  It was noted that the Tracy pool doesn’t charge extra for going down the pool’s two big plume slides, or for a non-swimmer adult sitting at poolside.
A general admission rate that was increased from $5 to $6, and early morning and after 5 p.m. rates that were increased from $2 to $3, remained unchanged.  Those rate increases were the first since the pool opened in 2003.  A new rate of $40 for swimming lessons also remained intact.
Council members expressed support to the pool committee for both their original and revised recommendations.  Ferrazzano said he would have liked to have been able to read the committee’s minutes before making the initial decision to accept the recommendations, or to have had the chance to ask questions.
Councilman Bill Chukuske said it was important for the council to be united about their decision.