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Council agrees to buy water slide for pool

January 08, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

The Hagerstown City Council Tuesday reached a consensus to buy a water slide for Potterfield Pool at an estimated cost of about $105,000.

The city can use a $27,000 state grant to pay for part of the costs, Finance Director Alfred Martin said.

Martin suggested the city fund the rest of the costs through a five-year financing plan.

If the city wants the water slide in place for the 2003 summer season it must order the slide this month, Martin said.

The city is scheduled to take a formal vote on the water slide purchase at a meeting later this month.

The only dissenting voice on the water slide purchase came from Councilman Kristin Aleshire, who said he would like to have a better sense of what the next fiscal year's budget will be like before he approves spending money on the project.

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The planned water slide would be about 17 feet high and 118 feet long, city officials said.

City officials expect the slide to increase pool revenues, which have already increased in recent years.

City officials were given letters from officials with the borough of Chambersburg, the Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission in Altoona, Pa., and the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks and Recreation Board, saying they purchased water slides and consider them good investments for municipal pools.

The council had discussed the water slide and increased pool revenues at a meeting in December.

City officials have said pool expenses are down and revenues are up as the result of changes made by pool management, Hagerstown officials said Monday.

Pool Manager Ralph Axen said he has tried to make the pool more cost-effective since taking the job about two years ago.

Total pool revenues have increased from $26,578 in 2000 to $45,239 in 2001 and to $60,834 in 2002, according to a report filed with the city.

Total attendance has increased from 13,388 in 2000 to 24,804 in 2001 and to 29,175 in 2002, according to the staff report.

Total expenses have dropped from $112,801 in 2000 to $111,129 in 2001 and to $88,841 in 2002.

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