Non-County Resident Admission Proposed At MLK Jr. Pool

Emily Leayman

HYBLA VALLEY, VA — The Fairfax County Park Authority is accepting public comments on proposed fee changes at Martin Luther King Jr. Pool and other park authority-operated facilities.

The pool, located at 8115 Fordson Road, Alexandria, currently has free admission for Fairfax County and non-county residents. A $5 non-county resident fee is proposed for fiscal year 2021. Admission would remain free for county residents. The pool was not open for the 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The park authority cited resident feedback that led to the non-county resident fee proposal.

"Residents of the community have asked the Park Authority to consider a non-county admission fee," states the proposal. "This fee would help provide greater access to county residents by discouraging non-county use."

While individual admission is free at the pool, there is a $3-per-person fee for groups of 12 or more. That group fee was implemented in fiscal year 2010.

The park authority will accept public comments on proposed fee changes for fiscal year 2021 through Feb. 4. If fee changes are approved by the park authority board on March 10, they will take effect on April 1.

Park authority fees typically pay for nearly all of the personnel and operating costs at its golf courses and RECenters; managed parks for fee-sustained facilities and program operations; and for rental facilities, programs, and store sales at nature centers, visitor centers, historic sites and other parks.

In fiscal year 2020, the park authority saw attendance at managed parks decreased by 8.9 percent. Revenue fell by 50.2 percent due to the pandemic's impacts on park operations, reduced capacities on amusements and cancellation of all registered programs and camps.

See the full fiscal year 2021 proposal for park authority fee changes.

A public meeting on the fee proposals will be held at 5 p.m. on Jan. 21 with a brief presentation on the fee process and opportunity for public comment. Residents can also send comments to Parkmail@fairfaxcounty.gov or by mail to Attention Public Information Office/Fee Comments, Fairfax County Park Authority, 12055 Government Center Parkway, Suite 927, Fairfax, VA, 22035.

This article originally appeared on the Greater Alexandria Patch