The Carroll City Council on Wednesday approved a new membership plan for the Rec Center that will increase existing rates 4 to 5 percent and create new senior-couple and single-parent categories.
The measure passed with a 5-to-1 vote with City Councilman Tom Tait in opposition.
“I’ll get behind a raise when it comes time to do it,” Tait said.
Tait said he wanted to give the new Rec Center director up to six months in the job before making any major moves.
“You gotta let the new guy come in,” Tait said.
Ben Alford, 28, the head football coach at Wesley Chapel, Fla., and a former quarterback with the University of Northern Iowa and North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, is expected to start as Rec Center director in early January. He succeeds Marci Hinners, who retired in July as director, a position she held since 1983. Hinners started as program director in May 1980. The Rec Center opened in 1977.
Councilman Mike Eifler and Mayor Adam Schweers said the new rate plan is a “good compromise.”
“I think we’ve got a good compromise amongst a lot of different ideas,” Schweers said.
After two previous Rec Center recommendations were scuttled in the Council chambers in the past month, Parks and Recreation Director Jack Wardell scaled back proposed increases and lowered a proposed monthly cost for all membership categories. The new plan adds categories for single-parent-led families for $353 annually or $43 a month; full-time college students for $171 annually or $25.50 by the month; and a senior couple for $319 annually or $41 by the month. Payments for annual memberships can be made with automatic monthly withdrawals from members’ bank accounts.
A family membership increases from $382 to $401 or costs $45.50 a month for those who don’t want a full year. Other rates change as follows: single adults up from $191 to $201, or $27 by the month; a single youth up from $132 to $139 or $20 by the month; and a senior single up from $173 to $180 a year or $25.50 by the month.
A plan rejected by the council several weeks ago would have included a 6.8 percent increase in family membership rates from $382 to $408. Family memberships also could have been purchased monthly for $50 — meaning if a family pays for a year, month by month, the total cost would have been $600.
The reasoning behind the monthly option in the rate plan is two-fold: it affords flexibility for those who don’t want to join for the full year while giving an incentive for members who do.
Wardell has not yet set the date when the rates will be effective.