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Sign of Summer: Paying For RA Pool Passes

by Karen Goff May 19, 2014 at 9:30 am 3 Comments

Hunters Woods PoolAs Memorial Day approaches, it is nearly time for Reston Association members to check out the many outdoor pool choices they have each summer.

It’s also time to pay for pool passes. A common comment on RA stories posted on Reston Now is why members must pay for pool passes.

Current RA annual assessments are $634, which entitles members to use all 15 pools, dozens of tennis courts and other RA amenities.

But after writing the big check, families must then pay for pool passes. At $25 each for adults and $10 for members under 18, that’s $70 for a typical family of four.

Pass fees rose from $20 to $25 in 2013, which will result in an additional $75,000 for RA this year and will an additional $75,000 in 2015, RA budget numbers show.

Reston Association sold 14,618 adult member pool passes in 2013. That’s income of $365,450 for RA’s $13 million budget. There were also more than 7,000 children’s passes sold, as well non-resident passes and tennis-only passes.

RA’s budget shows guest passes generated $7,000 for the association and non-resident memberships brought in $40,000.

The pools are expected to bring in $905,000 in 2014, says Larry Butler, RA’s Senior Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources. But the pools are projected to cost $1.66 million this year as well.

So while the pool passes bring in money, pool operations are not a money maker for RA says CEO Cate Fulkerson.

“The additional cost to obtain the passes is intended to help offset the cost of operating the pools and tennis courts,” Fulkerson said. “All of the fees collected for the member recreation passes go directly to the pool operations.  Alternately, fees collected for non-member tennis only passes go to help off-set tennis court maintenance. “

RA is looking at ways to save money in this area, Fulkerson said. The association is examining better ways to issue passes rather than to print new plastic passes each year.

“We want to move away from issuing passes annually,” said Fulkerson. “We would prefer some type of ‘on-site’ code for users to access our pool and tennis facilities.  We hope to launch a pilot program in 2015, with full roll-out in 2016 and 2017.”

Do you think there should be an extra fee for pool passes? Tell us in the comments.

Photo: Hunters Woods Pool/Credit: Reston Association 

  • FULL TIME BOJANGLER

    No there should not be extra fees. If there isn’t enough money in the budget to run the pools, then Ms. Fulkerson can do without her $5000.00 performance bonus.

  • Linda Ascher Singer

    When we came to Reston in1975 the fees included swimming and tennis. Many complained that the fees were too high especially if they did not swim or play tennis. So the annual fee was lowered and those who wanted to swim or play tennis could pay for these activities. They would not be subsidized by those who had did not use these facilities.

  • Scott H

    Pool and Tennis fees should NOT be included in the assessment. My family uses the pools every year, but many do not and they should not be forced to pay for me to enjoy Reston’s aquatics. That said, there are many other RA offerings that should follow the same structure or be eliminated. If Reston magazine costs RA $1 more than advertising pays for, it should be eliminated. There is no need in 2014 for this to be printed and mailed.
    In my humble opinion the annual assessment of $634 is excessive and is significantly more than when I moved to Reston in 2001 (I believe it was $425 then with $10 pool passes).
    I would ask RA to evaluate it’s activities and reduce unessential items. Clearly, in places like Reston with high planned population densities, certain recreation opportunities are part of that plan, but there is a lot of excess that should be cut or funded through use fees, as the pools are.

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