Algonquin to raise price of yearly swimming pass

ALGONQUIN – Preseason family swimming passes will cost $10 more this year under a village plan for enterprise funds – operations such as the municipal pool and water and sewer services that are supposed to be self-sustaining through user fees.

The village plans to increase the family season swimming pass to $115 from $105 this year to offset costs of running the pool.

The additional-member season pass fee, which was required for households with more than five members, will be eliminated.

The increase brings Algonquin in line with other municipalities and park districts, said Mike Kumbera, assistant to the village manager. “Even with the increase, we’re still the lowest municipal/park district swimming pool in the region. We’re still trying to keep that affordable.”

The village has been using its general fund to supplement swimming pool operations.

The village expects it to cost $204,000 to run the swimming pool this summer, with $78,000 coming from the general fund.

“We really need to start thinking about long term, maybe short term, about what we want to do,” Village Manager Bill Ganek said. “There needs to be some policy discussion on this. ... The percentage of what general fund is supplementing is continuing to grow. ... There’s needs to be some discussion of where we’re going to go with the pool.”

Water and sewer rates are planned to remain level after a 7 percent increase for the current fiscal year.

Kumbera said water and sewer revenue has been growing steadily because of annual rate increases.

Hot, dry weather also led to higher demand for water in the village this year and last, Kumbera said.

The village plans to buy a new Vactor truck, which is used to clean manholes and sewer lines, at a cost of $275,000 and sell its current truck.

The village has budgeted $30,000 for another another rate study to plan rates, Kumbera said.

“The study reviews capital assets and infrastructure that are related to the water and sewer operation and develops an appropriate replacement/major maintenance schedule and associated costs for the same,” Kumbera said in an email. “It is at that time a determination of whether or not a rate adjustment is necessary and when.”

Honor for Ganek

The Village Hall at 2200 Harnish Drive next week will be named “William J. Ganek Municipal Center.”

Ganek, who is retiring after 21 years as village manager, will be replaced by Timothy Schloneger, the current Lockport city administrator. Schloneger’s first day on the job is Monday.

Ganek was presented with the honor at Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting.

Village President John Schmitt complimented Ganek for his frugality, integrity, class, patience and ethics.

Ganek said he was surprised by the honor. The village hall opened in 1996.

“To me, there’s no higher honor, to have my name on this building,” Ganek said. “Everybody who has come through the door, our elected officials, our staff, our citizens, have come in here to make Algonquin better. Sometimes people agreed, sometimes we didn’t.”

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