New pool and train prices approved for Creekmore Park in a 4-2 vote last week by the Fort Smith Board of Directors will go into effect immediately, according to an email from City Clerk Sherri Gard.
Gard told the board ordinances of general and permanent nature go into effect 31 days after being approved unless an emergency clause is adopted.
It was believed that the ordinance was general and permanent in nature, which is why an emergency clause was included. It was defeated 4-2; there must be five affirmative votes in order to pass an emergency clause.
After further review, however, Gard told the board the ordinance does not qualify as general and permanent in nature, therefore it goes into effect immediately anyway.
According to information from City Attorney Jerry Canfield, the ordinance is not general because the fees only apply to specific facilities and not all residents use the Creekmore pool or ride the train.
Canfield also said the ordinance doesn’t qualify as permanent, because these are usage fees and are considered “regularly or commonly updated.”
Colby Roe of Daily and Woods, the city’s legal counsel, likened the ordinance to the city budget, which is not considered permanent due to being updated annually.
The directors passed the ordinance to increase admittance fees and adjust private party rentals.
Entrance fees will be $2 for children ages 3 to 17 and $3 for those 18 and older.
The single season pass remains $40, while the family season pass increased from $60 to $80.
“We also want to keep in mind that we kept the cost low enough that it was still affordable for the citizens of Fort Smith,” Parks and Recreation Director Doug Reinert said previously.
Two-hour parties will now be the only option for private events. Reinert told the directors at the end of April that the department has only hosted in 10 years one party less than two hours.
The cost will be $120 for two hours, plus a $25 refundable deposit. Two lifeguards are included in the fee, but patrons will pay $20 for each additional lifeguard, if needed.
Party pricing remains the same, but the department no longer considers the first two lifeguards as a separate fee. It also does not allow for the option of a one-hour party.
Creekmore will also introduce Wibits, inflatable obstacles, as a new pool amenity. These will be available for parties, too. Rental cost is $70 in addition to the $25 refundable deposit.
The park train will also go to donations only. It previously charged $0.25 per ride, but Reinert said guests were not turned away if they didn’t have a quarter.
Summer swimming will begin when the pool opens May 25 at 11 a.m. Train rides are already available Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A full summer train schedule is available on the Parks Department Facebook page and website.