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December 22, 2014

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Budget-strapped Henderson to cut hours of operation at recreation centers

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Steve Marcus

Swimmers keep cool at the Henderson Multigenerational Activity Pool Sunday, June 9, 2013.

The Henderson City Council late Tuesday approved fee increases and fewer hours of operation at its recreation centers to help shrink a multimillion-dollar budget deficit it faces in the fiscal year starting July 1.

The moves, along with other changes to its parks and recreation offerings, are expected to net the city about $2 million in savings and increased revenues.

That won’t be enough to close the $5 million operating shortfall the city faces in the upcoming budget year. The city is also grappling with how to pay for $17 million in annual maintenance and infrastructure costs.

The changes to the city’s parks and recreation offerings were among the least controversial recommendations from a citizen-led budget review committee formed last year. The committee has also recommended a property tax increase of up to 20 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, which would require voter approval.

The changes approved unanimously Tuesday affect a wide range of the city’s recreation and senior programs. Pool admission fees will increase from $2 to $3 for adults, youth league fees will increase from $40 to $50 and the cost of annual membership cards will increase from $2 to $5.

The city will also open its aquatic, recreation and senior centers at 6 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. and close the facilities on Sundays and holidays.

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