Editor’s note: This article was originally published October 4, 2013
Welcome to Austin, tourists. We’re glad you’re here. And by the way, it’ll cost you an extra buck to go for a swim.
As of Oct. 1, the city of Austin implemented non-resident fees at an array of Parks and Recreation Department facilities.
That means anyone who doesn’t live inside the Austin city limits - from Rollingwood to Cedar Park to Manor - will pay a higher entry fee at municipal pools and city-owned museums. Non-residents will also pay more to rent facilities at city-owned recreation centers, senior centers or cultural art centers.
The cost increases affect all municipal pools, including Barton Springs and Deep Eddy, but not smaller neighborhood pools, where entry will remain free.
Gate attendants at Barton Springs this week already were asking visitors if they live in Austin. But so far, no one is being asked to show proof of residency.
"The residency information for pool entry will be on the honor system," said parks department spokesman Victor Ovalle.
Proof of residency has always been required for program registrations and facility rentals and that will continue, Ovalle said.
Until now, residents and non-residents paid the same fee at the facilities.
The changes are part of the fiscal year 2014 budget approved by the mayor and city council on Sept. 10, Ovalle said.
The increases are expected to bring in about $280,000 to the parks department annually, said Justin Fletcher, a financial consultant for the city. Revenue from the fee increases will go into City of Austin’s general fund.
Specifically, pool entry increases from $1 to $2 for non-resident children ages 1 to 11, $2 to $3 for non-resident juniors age 12-17, $3 to $4 for non-resident adults, and $1 to $2 for non-resident seniors.
The cost for swim lessons increases by $2.25 for non-residents, and it will no longer be free to join the swim team program at city pools, whether or not you are an Austin resident. City of Austin residents will pay $70 and non-residents will pay $82.50.
Rental rates also increase for non-residents who want to use the Zilker Clubhouse, and entry to the Zilker Botanical Garden goes from $2 to $3 for non-resident adults.