Months of speculation are over. Maricopans finally know how much it will cost to use the Copper Sky Recreation Center when it opens in March.
The City Council voted 6-0 (vice mayor Ed Farrell was absent) to approve a fee schedule that was presented by community services director Jennifer Campbell.
The rates are divided into three different age groups – “youth” is anyone 17 or younger or enrolled in school, “adult” is anyone 18-61 years old, and “senior” is anyone 62 and older.
For each person, there are rates for five different types of memberships – daily, a 20-visit punch card, one month, six months and annual.
Campbell said City staff compared membership fees of similar cities in the Valley and elsewhere in Arizona to determine the rates for Copper Sky. The goal, she said, was to provide Maricopans with a “fair” rate while striving to reach a 75 percent cost recovery.
A one-month membership is $35 for an adult, $55 for two adults (in same household), $25 for a youth, $30 for a senior, $47 for a senior couple (in same household), $65 for a family (one or two adults and up to four children) and $5 extra for a family dependent (additional family member that resides in same household).
Of course, people will save money by purchasing a six-month or an annual membership.
Separate fees apply to use the aquatic center. The daily rate for an adult is $4, but people can also save money by purchasing punch cards for five visits, 10, 15, 20 or 30 visits. An adult season pass to the aquatic center, which runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day, is $40.
“We really tried to do our best to price to the market and consider all the options and variables,” mayor Christian Price said.
The Copper Sky facility will be 52,000 square feet, with two pools and a splash pad. Several of the facilities the City compared itself to did not have a pool or any aquatic component.
The council had no problems with the fees, but councilmember Julia Gusse asked if a reduced rate or discount could be given to military veterans. There was near-unanimous agreement among council members that veterans should receive a discount.
However, since it was something City staff did not prepare for – and Campbell said none of the facilities staff researched had veterans’ fees – the council decided to save that discussion for a later meeting.
Council members Gusse, Bridger Kimball and Leon Potter are veterans. Price said he’s in favor of a discount for veterans but wanted to wait for the City to calculate the numbers first and see how it would affect the goal of a 75 percent cost recovery for the City.
“We have a large community of veterans coming back to our community, and I think we should show to the veterans coming back that we are a veteran community,” Gusse said.