From Darrell Lovelette, Parks and Recreation superintendent

The summer of 2007 promises to be a very exciting one and what better way to kick it off then the opening of the Water Works Family Aquatic Center on May 26?

John Webb and his crew have been hard at work preparing the facility for the months ahead and their hard work shows. Kim Wood has, once again, gotten an outstanding staff together to help insure the safety of all of our customers and that everyone's experience is the best that it can be.

While there were no changes in the amenities this year, we have made a few changes in our membership offerings and our programming of the facility.

With the purchase of a membership this year, you will receive a RecPerks! Value Card. This card is redeemable for discounts and special offers at all of our facilities.

For memberships of one or two people the value of the card is more than $80. For memberships of three or more the card has a value of more than $130.

Despite a small increase in rates --the first one since 1998 -- the memberships still are very low priced for the features that this facility offers. In all categories the cost per person, per day is less than 96 cents for residents and $1.32 for nonresidents for the season.

In addition, you may bank draft your purchase over four easy payments. This program is also new this summer.

Note that if you are a Water Works member and Water Works closes or is closed because of the weather, you may go to the Natatorium for swimming for just $1 per person. I would encourage you to avoid long lines and purchase your membership at the Natatorium the week of May 20 before Water Works opens, so you are ready to go when the gates open on the 26.

In addition, we have formalized our group usage policy to lessen the impact on the staff, members and daily admission customers. We have continued with the Guest Discount Card program for all season members and residents so their nonresident guests may receive a price break. Fun Fridays continue with our staff leading the way for fun and crazy water games on June 22, July 13 and Aug. 3. And once again, the summer will end with the Dog Days of Summer on Aug. 26.

See you at the Family Aquatic Center.