Aquatic center fees, schedule get nod from council

The Big Spring City Council approved first reading of an ordinance amending codes related to the municipal aquatic center — and setting admission and usage fees — Tuesday night on a 6-1 vote, as the facility is expected to open in approximately a month.The amendments would rename the code from “Comanche Trail Park Municipal Swimming Pool” to “Big Spring Family Aquatic Center,” as well as establish fees for entrance, pavilion rental and other transactions involving the facility.The proposed fees would include a $5 entrance fee for swimmers ages 3 and up, a $3 increase from entrance fees charged during the last year of the municipal swimming pool's operation. The proposed increase didn't sit well with District 2 Councilman Manuel Ramirez Jr.“For the average family with two or three kids, $5 each seems a little too much. It could get really expensive,” Ramirez told the council.According to Duncan, the $5 fee is a best “guess” at what will need to be charged to make sure the facility — financed by city bonds — doesn't become a burden to local taxpayers.“Five dollars is a very good guess at what it will cost to run the pool,” Duncan said.Also during Tuesday's meeting, the council approved final reading of a change to the Code of Ordinances Business and Occupations section to help prevent the sale of stolen goods to secondhand stores.According to Big Spring Police Chief Lonnie Smith, the amendment would provide a number of processes designed to prevent the sale of stolen goods and promote the recovery of such items.