City may increase fees at Weiser Pool this summer

Philip A. Janquart
The Weiser City Council will consider a proposed fee hike for admission into the city pool at its upcoming council meeting scheduled for March 13. 
 The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at city hall in the council chambers. Time will be allotted for public comment.
 The fee increase would offset proposed wage increases for lifeguards who currently start out at $7.25 per hour, the state’s minimum wage. Lifeguards receive an annual .25 cent raise if they return.
 The wage is not high, considering the training and testing requirements to serve as a lifeguard, which is done at the individual’s own time and expense, according to a recent press release issued by the city.
“In meeting with the potential returning lifeguards, most have indicated that they would not return for 2023 unless wages are increased as they can literally go anywhere else and earn substantially more,” the press release states. “Hence, without a wage increase, the City pool would only be able to operate on a limited basis or not at all in 2023.”
 Mayor Randy Hibberd said the pool operates at a loss of between $10,500 and $19,800 each year, depending on the season.
 Last June, the pool was temporarily shut down after it was discovered by Weiser Recreation Department Director Ken Anderson that some tiles at the bottom, in the shallow end, were coming up, creating a safety hazard.
 The pool had been resurfaced three years earlier, but a portion of the work was already failing. The Weiser Fire District pumped over 190,000 gallons into Weiser Memorial Park so the repair work could be completed. The pool ultimately received a clean bill of health and was reopened, but no income was generated during that time.
The issue now is keeping the lifeguards.
 “The increase would be to cover the wage increase, not to break even or be profitable,” Hibberd said, adding that the city chooses to keep the pool going despite the fact it is losing money.
 “It doesn’t even come close (to breaking even),” he said. “If things got extremely tight, both the pool and the Vendome would have to go because they are the two things that don’t cover their expenses. But the city feels like they add significantly to the town, so it’s worth operating at a loss.”
 “In order to determine the amount of the proposed fee increase, an analysis was made of the lifeguard hours over three seasons, the amount of the wages paid, and the effect of the proposed wage increase,” the city’s press release states. “We then went through the three seasons of income to make an estimate of income by fee category. Precise records are not available. We then went through and looked at proposed fee increases to cover the cost of the wage increase.  In making the projections, there was less than a $1,000 difference between the increased fees and the increase in wages over the course of a summer. In spite of the current inflation in the economy, the remainder of expenses for the pool in the near future appear to remain stable.  
 The proposed fee increases would be as follows:
Category Current Proposed
0-12 $2.50 $3.00
13+ $3.00 $4.00
Senior $1.50 $3.00
Season Pass $46.00 $60.00
Family Season 
 Pass $189.00 $245.00
Parties $40.00/hour $60.00/hour


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

Connect with Us