A borough assembly ordinance took effect July 1 that eliminates the fee for anyone through age 18 to get in the water during public swim time at the Haines Borough Swimming Pool. The swim fee had been $3.75 per session.

“We have got to get those kids swimming,” said RaeAnn Galasso, aquatics director. “This is great for the kids to help prevent drownings.”

The borough assembly in May voted unanimously to amend the fiscal year 2019 budget to eliminate the swim fee for youths 18 years old and younger, and for all school use.

The free-swim policy will be in effect the entire fiscal year, which started July 1 and ends June 30, 2019.

Waiving the fee during public swim times — but not for lessons or rentals — will cost the borough an estimated $10,000 in revenue for the year, according to minutes of the May 8 assembly meeting. Member Heather Lende offered the amendment.

For those who already have a 10- or 20-swim pass — purchased before the July 1 effective date of free swims — the equivalent amount left on the pass may be transferred to an adult to use, Galasso said. The deadline for transferring a pass is Dec. 31, at which time all unused student passes will expire.

Pool rules require groups of 10 or more swimmers to call ahead, to allow management to bring in an additional lifeguard, Galasso said. The pool operates with one lifeguard on duty, limiting the number of swimmers to 20.

The 20-person limit could come into play if more than that number show up for a public swim, she said. In which case, admission is limited to the first 20.

The borough pool is a “within-arm’s-reach” facility, meaning all youths 7 and younger must be accompanied by an adult at all swims.

Correction: In the printed issue of the CVN, we had reported any person age 18 or under will be admitted to the pool for free. Instead, all people 17 years or younger will swim for free. People ages 18-59 will pay the adult user fee of $4.75.