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Proposal to save two Calgary swimming pools at city hall Tuesday

Swimmers take lessons at the Inglewood Aquatic Centre as city administration looks at options to keep Inglewood and Beltline pools viable. Global News

City administration will today present five different options to increase rates and fees at Beltline Aquatic & Fitness Centre and Inglewood Aquatic Centre, as part of an ongoing effort to make the community pools more economically sustainable and better align them with community needs.

The options include keeping the current $8 fee for an adult pass, an increase from $6.70 that began January 1, to a maximum of $11.

Betty Leinweber was swimming laps at the pool in Inglewood this morning as she does six days a week.

“I swam in this pool the first day it opened in 1963,” Leinweber said. She doubts raising fees will help keep the pools open.

“The solution is you have to increase patronage, and you are not going to do that by charging people more to come into the pool,” said Leinweber. “This pool is not very well advertised. It needs to be advertised. You need to have more, different kinds of programs going on here.”

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READ MORE: Calgary councillor looking for open conversation on future of Inglewood Aquatic Centre

Lindsay Clarkson has been swimming at Inglewood for almost 30 years.  She travels from a southern community just to support the pool.

“I would pay the extra to keep the pool open for the community, absolutely.” Clarkson said.

While she hopes the city can find a way to keep the pools viable. Clarkson says she understands that council can only support the inner city pools for so long before they may be forced to close.

“Everything has to be sustainable in society today we can’t just have it because we used to,” Clarkson said. “We have to always look at what’s better, you know.

“If we are going to not have anybody come, what’s the point of having the lights on? We can’t afford it.”

Council voted in November to give the Beltline and Inglewood pools $400,000 for each of the next two years to help cover costs in the short term.

READ MORE: Calgary community pools saved as council votes down cost-saving proposals

Today’s report asks council to choose one of the fee options while it explores more long term solutions.

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