Home News COVID-19 Situation Finance Committee to consider zoo fees

Finance Committee to consider zoo fees

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The city of Roswell Finance Committee will consider admission fees for the Spring River Zoo when it meets Thursday morning.

The meeting will be at 9 a.m. Thursday in the Roswell Convention and Civic Center. Due to state health orders, the public is encouraged to attend electronically. The meeting will be livestreamed on the city’s YouTube channel. Those wanting to participate can do so through GoToMeeting virtual meeting software.

By computer, tablet or smartphone, the meeting can be joined at https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/822397005. To join by phone, call 669-224-3412 and use access code 822-397-005.

The proposal is unchanged from when the General Services Committee failed to pass it in October by a vote of 2-1. City Councilors Juan Oropesa and Angela Moore voted against it, while Councilor Barry Foster voted in favor.

Oropesa is vice-chair of the Finance Committee. However, he stated at the November City Council meeting he would likely not be attending any committee meetings as he questioned the effectiveness of the committee-council system.

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The zoo proposal would charge an admission fee of $5 for Roswell residents age 16 and older and $10 for non-residents. Children ages 4 to 15 from Roswell would pay $2.50 while non-residents in that age group would pay $3.50.

Students 16 and older, adults 60 and older, and active military and veterans would pay $3. Groups of 10 or more would pay $3 per person, and school groups with reservations would pay $2.

Wednesdays would be free days for those 60 and older, and the first Saturday of the month would be free for Roswell residents. Members of Friends of Spring River Zoo would be admitted free, and there would be free admission on July 31, designated as Spring River Zoo Day. The adjacent park would remain free of admission charges.

If the committee approves the proposal, it would go to the full city council at its Dec. 10 meeting. If approved there, the fees would go into effect Jan. 1.

The committee will also discuss re-allocating water and sewer revenue from the Roswell Air Center from the Air Center’s enterprise fund to the water and sewer enterprise fund.

A report included in the agenda packet says the Walker Air Force Base had its own water and sewer system when the city took over the base in 1968. In 1974, that treatment plant was closed and the former base was connected to the city wastewater treatment plant. A few years later, the base was integrated into the city water system.

The revenue for water and sewer billing on the former base has gone into the Air Center enterprise fund even though the city water and sewer departments have born the costs of integrating the base into the city as well as other related projects over the years.

For fiscal year 2020, the report says, the Air Center was budgeted to receive $427,605 in water revenue and $198,273 in sewer revenue.

The report says making the change now would be optimal, as the revenue the Air Center is getting from parking fees would offset the financial impact.

Also on the Finance Committee agenda:

• A presentation on financing options for capital needs for the Solid Waste and Street departments and the Air Center.

• Discussion and consideration of financing options for a solid waste compactor for the landfill.

• Discussion and consideration of using federal grant money for the purchase of two new pickups.

• Consideration of resolutions certifying the correctness of inventory of the city’s fixed assets and budget adjustments.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.

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