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Published: Wednesday, 4/27/2005

Perrysburg installs canoe racks, pool contract

BY RACHEL ZINN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The city of Perrysburg is making some changes in its recreation offerings this summer, opening a new canoe rack and contracting management of the municipal pool to the Fort Meigs YMCA.

The city has installed a wooden canoe rack at Orleans Park, located along the Maumee River. The rack can hold 12 canoes.

Ten of the canoe-rack spots can be rented for the season for $20 each, and the other two spots will remain open for visiting canoers to use.

"I have eight people already interested in using it," said Jon Eckel, director of public service. "We'll rent the racks on a first-come, first-serve basis."

Mr. Eckel said the canoe rack cost the city $600 to install. The city will provide chains for people to secure their canoes, but canoers will be responsible for using their own locks.

"If the canoe rack works out and people are interested, next spring or fall we might put up another one," Mr. Eckel said. "It's a nice thing for the citizens to have."

Meanwhile over at Municipal Park, the city's pool will be under new management. City council voted last week to pay the Fort Meigs YMCA to operate the pool this summer.

The city will pay the YMCA $107,670 to cover the management fee, all personnel costs, and supplies for the pool and concession stand. The YMCA will hire and pay all pool employees.

"They're probably better equipped to manage the lifeguards and the pool than we are," Councilman Joe Lawless said. Last year, the city spent about $140,000 to pay salaries and benefits for pool employees, officials said.

In addition to saving the city money, Mr. Lawless said the YMCA management will allow the city to get better demographic information about who uses the pool, which could be important for marketing and operating the pool. He said the YMCA has equipment that can scan pool passes as visitors enter.

"We'd like to eventually have a scanner that shows who enters the pool, how old they are, where they live, and that type of information," Mr. Lawless said.

He said the city had planned earlier in the year to manage the pool again, so it advertised for lifeguards and managers. The city got plenty of lifeguard applications, but got little response from pool manager candidates.

City officials approached YMCA executives for suggestions, Mr. Lawless said, and the YMCA proposed managing the pool.

Under the one-year contract with the YMCA, the city is still responsible for maintaining pool facilities and operating the summer swim team program. The city also will continue operating Three Meadows Pond.

The YMCA will not raise admission prices for the pool. Rates for single admission and season passes are available on the city's web site at www.ci.perrysburg.oh.us.



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