LEWISTON — Rich Stone, one of the people who donated money to cover Kennedy Park pool fees, believes pool costs for children should be covered by the city’s budget.

He’s concerned that the city will rely on donations every summer.

But there’s a way to avoid that, City Councilor Shane Bouchard said.

He said that when the city’s annual budget is approved next year, the answer would be to take the pool costs out of the Recreation Department’s budget and put them in the General Fund.

That would make the pool free, as it’s always been, he said. “And the pool would not be a drain on the Recreation Department.”

The change would help preserve recreation programs, which are critical to the city’s youth, he said.


Bouchard estimated the change would add about a penny to the tax rate, an increase that’s worthwhile.

“And I’m a conservative,” he said. 

He’s been pushing moving the pool costs to the General Fund for three years. If he’s on the City Council next year, he’ll try a fourth time, Bouchard said. 

The City Council got hit with “a lot of feedback” for its decision to start charging children $1 per day to use the pool, City Administrator Ed Barrett said.

“It was a recommendation we made during the budget process,” Barrett said. “The council did not object.”

Barrett said the city covers the Recreation Department’s administration, but to keep property taxes in check, historically the city has tried to make recreation programs such as tennis and gymnastics self-sustaining, Barrett said.


Progress has been made toward that goal, except for the aquatic programs.

“It’s the single-most expensive program,” Barrett said. “We’ve never in the past had a (pool) charge. No doubt we will be discussing this next year.”

City Councilor Kristen Cloutier said if re-elected, she’d support moving pool costs to the General Fund.

It will be important, she said, for people to contact their councilors after the election to share their opinions on the pool fees, “and to come to the council budget workshop when we discuss the Recreation Department.”

Lewiston City Councilor Shane Bouchard 

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