City opens door to renting pool
Groups will be able to rent the city pool for private events under a new policy approved by the Medford City Council Tuesday night.
The city had previously not allowed private rentals, but the idea was brought forward after a local group expressed interest last summer. At last week’s committee of the whole meeting, aldermen supported the idea and instructed city staff to come up with a draft rental agreement including pricing.
On Tuesday, council members approved the rental agreement detailing the rental policies and fees.
• The pool is available for rental on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 pm-8:30 pm, June -August.
Groups may rent either half the pool at a rate of $215 or the whole pool at $425 per night.
• Contact City Hall for availability. Reservations must be made in person at City Hall and are made on a first come, first served basis two weeks in advance of rental. • Groups must be out of the pool by 8:30 p.m. and leave the facility no later than 8:45 p.m.
• Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be made no less than 7 business days in advance. Refunds will only be given if City Hall is able to re-rent the pool, minus a $10 administrative fee.
• Inclement Weather: Rental will be rescheduled to a mutually agreed upon date based upon rental availability or a full refund will be issued.
• Beer and liquor may be consumed at the events, but anyone selling beer must get a license from the city and no glass is allowed in the pool area.
“How did we come up with the fee? Does it cover our costs?” asked alderman Greg Knight, noting that it seemed low.
City coordinator Joe Harris said they based it off the wage scale that was set for this summer to cover the costs of staffing the pool. Fewer lifeguards are needed if only half of the pool is open. Harris said the reason the rate appears low is that the rentals are only for a 2.5 hour time. “It is not a long time,” he said.
Alderman Christine Weix questioned how inclement weather is to be handled and who would decide if the pool was closed. “What would we say if the renter says ‘We want to swim in the rain and don’t care that it is 40 degrees?’” asked Weir.
“It would be the same as in the past,” Harris said, explaining that the head lifeguard would have the authority to make the decision. He noted there were some instances such as with lightning that they would have no discretion but to close the pool.
Aldermen unanimously approved the rental agreement.
In related action, aldermen approved the wage schedule for the pool and summer help staff. The new rates raise the base wage for the positions by $1 per hour to remain competitive with other local employers.
Alderman Mike Bub questioned why the public works summer help rate was going up too. He said he had intended only for the pool staff. However, other aldermen felt the increase for public works summer help was fair.
Council members also approved increasing the pool pass cost for families by $10 and for individuals by $5 over the the current rates. The daily entry rate remains unchanged.
Letters will once again be sent to surrounding municipalities to invite them to make a contribution toward pool operations and in turn residents of those municipalities would qualify for the discounted city resident rate for pool use.
Council members approved an annexation request from Mike and Linda Brandner for 957 S. Park Ave a .8acre parcel including the home and surrounding space. The remaining property, totaling about 33 acres, will remain in the town of Medford .
The parcel being annexed surrounds the home and includes a spur connecting to the Melvin Companies property to the south. Sewer and water lines will be extended to the property from the east end of Jensen Drive and will be installed at the homeowner’s expense.
Harris noted that the home had already been a separate tax parcel. Under state law he said the city will have to pay the town of Medford for three years for its portion of the property taxes on the parcel.
In other business, aldermen:
_ Approved the election contingency plans addition dealing with hazardous spills or leaks on election day.
_ Approved the purchase of a new bucket truck for the electric utility at a net price of $164,331. The city will be trading in a 2013 bucket truck. The truck is not expected to be delivered until May 2023. Alderman Dave Brandner asked if that was the latest date or if it was ready sooner if it would be delivered before then. “With everything going on we will see if we can even get this,” said Spense Titera, electric utility manager.