Area youngsters received a free gift from the city of Deer Park this summer.
City officials have waived the $1.50 daily fee to use the municipal swimming pool this summer. Swimming lesson fees will remain in effect.
The plan, authored by City Clerk Deby Cragun and supported by Mayor Robert Whisman, is in response to a shortened swim season this year and to see if free use will increase pool attendance.
The city does not expect to open the pool until after July 1.
During last fall’s 2012 budget workshops, there was a serious discussion about closing the pool after it was noted that the 60-year-old-plus facility was generating only 30-35 users per day. The city received $5,000 in usage fees last summer for a facility that lost about $70,000.
A portion of the city’s pool operation fund goes toward employee wages (about $40,000). Those funds will not be saved if the pool closes since they would be disbursed to other city departments.