Fees increase at some Portland public pools
When Brian Veach brought his little boy to the pool at Portland's Eastside Community Center Sunday, there was no notice of a price hike for using the facility's pool.
Then Veach says he went to buy two day-use passes.
"And I had been informed that there had been a price increase," said Veach. "In the situation, the financial struggle, I was not able to attend with my son, and it caused a hardship."
By Monday afternoon, Veach snapped a photo of a newly posted notice he says was not up Sunday, announcing the fee increase that took effect Jan. 1.
Veach says there was no notice of the increase in the Portland Parks and Recreation winter guide.
There was also no obvious notice on the Portland Parks and Recreation website.
"To not notify us with the holidays, with financial struggles at this time, it's hard," said Veach.
Portland Parks and Recreation says fees for day-use pool passes went up about 25 cents as of Jan. 1, an increase of about five percent.
Officials with the agency say it usually sends out notices of fee changes through emails or through the mail.
Facilities aren't required to post notices of fee changes.
Mark Ross, spokesman for Portland Parks and Recreation, calls the fee increases modest and are needed to cover rising operating costs plus increases in employee retirement and health care.
"We really strive to keep our programs and services at a great value for the community, and we're confident we still are," said Ross. "We're making sure all of our staff at our community centers and pools understand that people need to know the current pricing and that scholarships are available. And we're making sure there are no old websites that are still up with last year's prices."
Ross says the fee increases are not across-the-board. Instead, they vary from facility to facility and from program to program.
What Portland's parks and recreation department says about the fee increase and why there apparently was no notice posted at facilities or online:
What apparently happened at the Eastside Community Center around the time KATU started asking questions: