Statesville Pool, fitness building draw crowds

Statesville's three-year-old public fitness center and swimming pool on Simonton Road are breaking attendance records, according to city officials.

At the City Council's June 20 meeting, Recreation Director Brent Cornelison asked for $9,500 to buy more soda, juice, pizza, crackers, chips and ice cream for the concession stands at the $8 million Fitness & Activity Center and Leisure Pool.

"I hope this is a request we'll be repeating in future years, too," Cornelison said, "since it would mean we are attracting many more visitors than we anticipated."

This year, attendance to date at the pool is up 14 percent over last year, and revenues are up 17 percent. Estimates are that revenues at the Fitness and Activity Center have risen by $159,500 over last year, with little increase in expenditures.

In the new city budget, which took effect July 1, overall recreation revenues are $647,000, an increase of 33 percent from the previous year.

The revenues don't cover all operating costs, but they help cut the tax dollars spent on the facilities at a time when municipalities are hard pressed financially.

"I am always happy to learn that our facilities and programs are well attended," said Mayor Costi Kutteh. "The leisure pool has certainly exceeded all expectations."

Located at 1877 Simonton Road, within the same complex as the Statesville Fitness & Activity Center, the outdoor pool offers several options to young visitors:

A splash pad and spray playground are available for ages 1-12.

A Lazy River and two large waterslides are designed for older children (minimum height 48 inches for slides).

The pool is open 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays; and 1-6 p.m. Sundays. Daily admission is $ 4 for ages 12 and younger and $5 for ages 13 and older. Season passes are available. Call 704-878-3947 for more information.

Other business

Also at the June 20 meeting, the City Council amended the city code to permit city police and other law enforcement officers to ride bicycles on sidewalks in the downtown business district. Previously, city regulations prohibited bikes on sidewalks.

"Our officers will benefit tremendously with the ability to more quickly and safely operate police bicycles on sidewalks, instead of using the heavily travelled roadways," police Chief Tom Anderson said.