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COUNCIL REJECTS PLAN TO CHARGE FOR WADING POOL

Children will not have to pay to use the City of Olean's Franchot Park wading pool this summer, but large groups will face higher rental fees and some new rules in Gargoyle and War Veterans parks.

Meeting Tuesday night as a committee of the whole, the Common Council rejected a proposal to charge city children $1 and others $1.50 to use the wading pool, and to provide for a season's pass.

Terry Belli of the Recreation Department said the proposal, projected to bring in about $10,000, was designed to increase revenue.

Only Franchot Park and the in-line skating facility in War Veterans Park do not bring in revenue. No expenses are associated with the skate park, but Franchot pool chemicals, maintenance and other park amenities cost the city about $20,000 a year.

Some residents have protested to recreation officials and aldermen. Robin Taylor said she was relieved the proposal died in committee.

"I'm happy that you voted against a first Franchot Park fee. I work with the kids over in that area, and it would hurt them," she said during the public comment portion of the Common Council meeting.

"The Council feels that's a service the city should provide," Belli said after the meeting.

After the committee meeting, the Council, in its regular meeting, unanimously approved measures to raise funds to pay for the growing costs of operating Gargoyle and War Veterans parks, where reservations for large groups have increased.

The rental fee for Gargoyle will be $275 for all seven days of the week. It has been $100 on weekdays. Both parks will require a security deposit of $200 to ensure groups will leave the facilities in good shape, minimizing workload for the maintenance department, which has lost two workers to layoffs.

At War Veterans Park, groups of more than 200 people must provide their own dumpsters in addition to cleaning.

In other matters:

Mayor William Quinlan announced the appointment of William Foss, a Cattaraugus County sheriff's deputy and former city police officer, as an Emergency Services Department dispatcher for a maximum of 15 hours a week. He already has begun work.

Quinlan also announced the Public Works Department will hold an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. next Tuesday at the city's River Street Water Filtration Plant as part of the American Water Works Association's Drinking Water Week. Crews will lead tours every half hour through the recently completed facility.

"When the plant opened, it was around 9/1 1, and there was a security concern," Quinlan said. "Now we know this is a secure facility, and certainly guided tours are a good thing, and we will offer them from time to time."

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