Pool fee changes in The Woodlands to get public hearing May 27

The Woodlands Township board of directors will hold a videoconference public hearing May 27. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands Township board of directors will hold a videoconference public hearing May 27. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

The Woodlands Township board of directors will hold a videoconference public hearing May 27. (Vanessa Holt/Community Impact Newspaper)

With state guidelines changing regularly, the future of The Woodlands Township's 2020 pool season has been contingent on Gov. Greg Abbott's orders, but this week the board of directors will hold a public hearing on several fee changes in response to circumstances this year.

At The Woodlands Township board of directors’ May 21 meeting held by videoconference, Chris Nunes, director of parks and recreation, recommended a modified daily admission fee structure for residents and nonresidents only effective in 2020. The proposal includes a $5 daily admission pass to residents for village pools. The opening of Rob Fleming Aquatic Center in Creekside Park, a larger recreation facility, would depend on the township’s being able to obtain a sufficient number of guards as well as for water parks to be opened in Texas.

Nunes projected township pools may be able to open the first Saturday in June, which he said was only a few days behind when they would normally have opened.

He cautioned that there was still a potential for closure if the governor decides pools should revert from 25% occupancy to closure. However, occupancy could also increase to 50%, he said. Abbott allowed pools to open in the state May 8 at 25% capacity.

On May 26 Gov. Greg Abbott announced water parks could open as of May 29 with 25% capacity.

During the meeting, several directors pushed back against the idea that season passes for the pools be suspended this year.

“There is enough clamor that people want them, that I think it’s appropriate to acknowledge that and let people have that option of buying a season pass,” director Shelley Sekula-Gibbs said.

Chair Gordy Bunch said he had heard there was ample interest in season passes.

“People are willing to take the risk to buy the pass,” Bunch said. “If we have clear signage in the sales process ... that there’s no guarantee the pools will be open the entirety of the season ... I agree that the feedback I received has been people are willing to buy a season pass.”

According to information on the meeting agenda for May 27, the township’s budget for its aquatic division is $2.65 million, of which budgeted revenues are $1.35 million. The amount of revenue that could be gained or lost by pool fee changes was not known, according to the agenda.

In addition to plans to open the pools, one of the township's two boathouses, the Riva Row Boat House, is open, and water bikes were added to its amenities, allowing four individual users.

The proposed changes up for discussion May 27 also include removing the guest pass punch cards fee category, the day care and group daily pass fee category, and the swim team member pass fee category.

The meeting will be held via videconference May 27.
By Vanessa Holt
A resident of the Houston area since 2011, Vanessa began working in community journalism in her home state of New Jersey in 1996. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2016 as a reporter for the Spring/Klein edition and became editor of that paper in March 2017 and editor of The Woodlands edition in January 2019.


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