Glenn Butler works out at Patriots Park's Bobby Waters Gymnasium. Its rates might go up to buy new gear
Photo by Jim Blaylock
The cost of membership at Patriots Park's Bobby Waters Gymnasium might be going up.
As part of a Monday Columbia County budget meeting for the coming fiscal year, Barry Smith, the county's community and leisure services director, told county commissioners $21,000 in new gym equipment is needed for the Patriots Park gym.
Commissioner Steve Brown suggested that the rates at the park be raised to cover the equipment cost.
"We're going to at least go up enough to cover his costs,'' he said, looking out to Smith.
Commissioner Tommy Mercer agreed, but said the increase should apply to adult membership and not youth.
"I think we subsidize the adult programs way, way too much,'' he said.
The exact amount of a membership increase for adults was not discussed, but Commission Chairman Ron Cross said a good rule of thumb on how much rates should be raised is "until you lose 10 percent of your customers. You continue to do that (raise rates) every six months or so.''
Currently, a family membership at the gym for county residents is $125 a year, a figure that officials said is much lower than other gyms in the area. An individual resident of the county currently pays $75 a year, while individual non-residents pay $150.
The need for more gym equipment at the gym, Smith said, is a result of more customers. He said that in just the past year the gym's membership has grown from 628 to more than 1,700.
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