Entry fees increase at Sherman water park - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Entry fees increase at Sherman water park

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SHERMAN -- The cost to get into a popular local water park is going up.

The city of Sherman says raising the rate will help offset an increased cost of maintenance.

Ariel Weddle and Katelin Metcalf are on Spring Break. While the water park near their Sherman homes isn't open yet, they say they spend plenty of time there when it is.

The teens say they save up by doing chores to pay the $3 entry fee for a day at the Splash Family Aquatic Center. But now, they may have to do a few more.

Recently, the Sherman City Council approved a $1 increase for daily entry, bringing the cost of entry at the park to $4 for swimmers under 16 years old. The cost for anyone older than 16 will now be $5.

For Sherman residents, swimming lessons are increasing by $5 to $35 for the Learn to Swim program, $45 for non-residents.

Kevin Winkler is the city's parks and community services manager. He says the fee increase will help the department's cost recovery.

"We have been at that daily rate for the past six seasons," he said. "This will be our seventh season."

The city says it doesn't recover any money off certain events it hosts, like its annual Easter egg hunt.

It says it makes 100% back for intramural sports by charging players the exact amount the city spends.

But when it comes to the Splash Family Aquatic Center, the city says last year, it only made back 62% of what it paid, and asked for the fee increase to bump its cost recovery up to 70%.

"The cost has increased tremendously over the past seven years," Winkler said. "It takes a tremendous amount to keep up that maintenance and now that we're seven years out from that rehab, we're starting to see a lot of those costs increase."

Ariel and Katelin say they understand and plan to whatever is necessary to get into the park once the gates open up.

"You got to do what you got to do," Ariel said. "I'll probably have to baby sit more and maybe wash a car or two. I don't know."

The city is also hiring 60 new employees at the park for the summer, including 45 lifeguards and 10 concession stand workers.

Applications are being accepted at the Sherman Parks and Community Services building at 702 N. Music Street in Sherman.