Hours reduced, fees hiked at Crestwood rec facilities

Lindbergh School District residents, employees now can use Aquatic Center

By BURKE WASSON

With cash reserves estimated to be depleted in Crestwood’s park and stormwater fund by the end of 2009, aldermen last week voted to reduce hours and increase fees at the Whitecliff Park Community Center and Aquatic Center.

Additionally, non-residents now will be allowed to use the city’s Aquatic Center as aldermen followed through on the Park Board’s recommendation to expand the pool’s use to any resident or employee within the Lindbergh School District.

The Lindbergh School District includes the incorporated areas of Crestwood, Fenton, Grantwood Village, Green Park, Kirkwood, Lakeshire and Sunset Hills, and the unincorporated areas of Concord Village and Sappington. Removing the Aquatic Center’s resident-only status will allow an additional 13,600 households to be eligible to use the Crestwood Aquatic Center.

Director of Parks and Recreation Amy Meyer believes the fee increases could generate more than $10,700 in additional revenue and the reduced hours could yield more than $6,000 in savings. The additional revenue does not include any additional membership from outside Crestwood.

Hours will be reduced at the Community Center on Friday evenings. Closing the center at 6 p.m. would reduce operating costs by $55 per week.

Additionally, Aquatic Center hours will be reduced when the Lindbergh School District is in session. The hours of 4 to 8 p.m. will be eliminated Monday through Thursday for a projected savings of $1,060 per week.

Membership fees at the Community Center and Aquatic Center will rise by 5 percent. Meyer estimates that if pass sales remain consistent with 2008 levels, this would generate $8,600 in additional revenue in 2009. Membership fees at both centers have not risen since 2003.

While fees for recreation passes will increase in Crestwood, such passes for facilities in nearby cities like Fenton and Webster Groves still will be more than Crestwood’s fees.

Field rental fees also will increase from their current level of $3 an hour to $8 an hour for residents and $10 an hour for non-residents, who had previously paid $5 an hour. This is projected to generate an additional $2,100 in revenue.