Brecksville may allow non-residents to join community center

by Kathleen Steele Gaivin
May 3 city council meeting
Brecksville City Council authorized the law director to prepare legislation that, if approved by council, would allow non-resident memberships at the city’s community center. Non-resident memberships would be capped at 500.

This is an opportunity to increase revenue and participation as well as offset increased costs, according to Recreation Director Rachel Engle.

“This will allow us to keep resident rates down,” she said. “Currently, we are serving many non-residents who are coming as guests and paying each visit. This would allow us to collect full membership instead of a guest pass per visit for some of these families.”

If approved, the membership cost for a non-resident family of four would be $700 annually, which is comparable to nearby communities that allow non-resident memberships to their community centers, according to Engle. Some communities charge an additional fee for aquatics center use, which could bring the total up to around $900 for a family of four, she added.

The membership would include a pool pass as well as full use of the community center.

“Last year, we never hit capacity for our pool or our outdoor deck,” Engle said.

Fireworks to be prohibited

In response to a resident survey regarding the use of consumer-grade fireworks by residents, city council authorized the law director to prepare legislation for the city to opt out of a state law that would permit those fireworks within the city limits.

Ohio House Bill 171, which became law in November, legalizes residential use of fireworks beyond those previously permitted on designated holidays, but allows local governments to opt out.

Council member Beth Savage said city council received 1,188 responses to the survey. Responses came from various areas of the city and represented a broad range of ages, she said, and 66 percent of the respondents were in opposition of allowing residents to use consumer-grade fireworks for safety reasons.

“The police chief, the fire chief and I, as safety director, are recommending that we opt out. There was no question in our minds when we read the proposed law and then the new law with the opt-out option,” Mayor Jerry Hruby said. ∞