Leisure Square’s fees to get public hearing in September

VERO BEACH – A proposed new way of paying for the use of Leisure Square is expected to go to the public for a hearing in September, during which they can tell the council what they think of the new system.

Instead of offering ala carte-styled fees for using individual parts of the center, the city is considering an all-inclusive annual membership like that of a health and fitness center.

The rate restructuring hearing is expected to be held Sept. 7 before the Vero Beach City Council.

While prices are not expected to go higher than what visitors currently pay per month to use the pool or fitness center, visitors will be asked to sign an annual membership, committing to paying the monthly fee every month.

The purpose, according to Parks and Recreation Director Rob Slezak, is to better help Leisure Square bring in a more steady stream of revenue to keep the pool open during the winter months.

The new rate structure could go into effect Nov. 1 if the Vero Beach City Council approves it.

Current Leisure Square members would have the option to extend and pre-pay their current ala carte memberships as far into the future as they want to, according to Slezak. The cut-off date to extend memberships would be Oct. 31.

The proposed rates show a $5 difference in price between city resident memberships and non-city residents.

Councilman Tom White asked about the difference during Tuesday’s council meeting. Slezak said he could reconsider the difference later.

Vice Mayor Abel also asked about having a flat rate for all members, regardless of age, noting that those 55 and older would be charged $5 less than all other members.

Slezak said that the seniors who use Leisure Square tend to live on tight budgets, so the department it trying to “give them a little bit of a break.”

Here’s what the new rate structure would look like*:

City Residents

Age 15-54:

$20 per month if they sign at least a one-year agreement

$25 per month if they pay month-by-month

Age 55 and older:

$15 per month with a one-year agreement

$20 per month without the agreement

Non-city Residents:

Age 15-54:

$25 per month with an agreement

$30 without

Age 55 and older:

$20 with agreement

$25 without

*Members must also pay tax

In the future, fees at Leisure Square could also increase, though that could be a few years out.

The proposed higher fees would increase $10 to $15 depending on the members age and address. City residents in both age groups, as well as non-resident seniors, could be charged an extra $10 on top of the proposed new rate.

Non-city residents in the 15-54 age group could see their rate go up $15.

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