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Ballwin parks bill, consent items pass unanimously

Prior to the Dec. 9 Board of Aldermen meeting, Director of Parks and Recreation Chris Conway found himself engaging in some light banter with a pair of Ballwin police officers. When asked if he would have a long time on the stage that night, Conway shrugged off their assumption that achieving passage of a bill and two consent items would take some time.

In past weeks, the department’s attempts to increase recreation fees, to combat five ensuing years of major labor costs due to minimum wage hikes, turned into a rather contentious conversation. However, this time, there was not even a smattering of discussion as all three items passed unanimously, set to go into effect on Jan. 1.

Bill 4050 called for small fee increases for the 8-10 p.m. rentals at North Pointe Aquatic Center. Regular rental rates for the pool will be $300 for 1-50 people, $360 for 51-100 people and $390 for 101 people or more. Those same rates will be $275, $300 and $325, respectively for the VIP/resident rates.

New regular rental rates for 1-100 people and 101 or more for the leisure area will be $625 and $825 [$525 and $690for VIP/resident rates].

A pool and slides combination will rent for $425 and $450, respectively [$350 and $380 for VIP/resident rates]

The entire complex will be available for $1,100 and $1,500 [$950 and $1,150 for VIP/resident rates].

The first Parks and Recreation consent item with unanimous passage was for the purchase of 17 pieces of Cybex Strength Equipment items for The Pointe. The items, deemed a great deal at 25% off the regular rates, are replacing items that have lost a good deal of their initial worth and appearance. Those older models are reaching 15 years of usage in 2020.

The new items will be obtained through Sourcewell, “a cooperative purchasing program for government, education and nonprofit organizations.” Durability is one of the selling points for the new Cybex equipment, parks department officials have said.

The second consent item was to award a contract to Energy Resources, Inc., of Chesterfield, to dredge the pond of the Ballwin Golf Course at 333 Holloway Road. While $70,000 was allotted to the project, Energy Resources was the lowest bid at $58,980 among three companies that all received favorable references.

The pond was last dredged more than 20 years ago. Due to silt build up on the bottom, the water’s depth has shrunk from 8 feet down to roughly 2 feet. In addition to the shallowness of the pond, algae growth has led to a very foul smell from the pond during warm weather months, and the pond’s fountain has often become clogged, causing its failure.

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