Wrangell pool and gym users will see changes to Parks and Recreation fees take effect in September.

Wrangell Parks and Recreation Director Kate Thomas said the department has been working on the new fee schedule for about a year.

“The biggest change that you’ll see probably across the board is to the daily rate. We’ve increased that quite a bit,” Thomas said. “However, there are still affordable pass options, and we have a 12-month withdrawal program. So if you purchase an annual pass, you can break that down into 12 monthly payments, which makes it a little bit more affordable to the user.”

She said there is also a new pass rate for groups that use the community center.

“We’ve created a pass for that facility so other user groups like the Garnet Grit Betties or AAU basketball–or whoever else would like to develop a program and use that area–they have a pass rate,” Thomas said. “It would be more affordable to them than paying the hourly user rate or rental rate.”

The new fee schedule changes how residents can apply for fee assistance. The current application is basic, and the department can give up to $100 to families in need.

The new application will require household income information and an essay describing why recreation is important to the applicant.

Thomas said the department will do more fundraising in order to provide increased fee assistance.

“The income bracket is based on the 2015 poverty guidelines of Alaska,” Thomas said. “And where we only gave the $50 to $100 to families, now we can give up to 100 percent for pass benefits as well as activities. We have about 75 percent assistance at the lowest income bracket that we can offer folks for activities.”

Thomas encouraged anyone with concerns about the new fees to stop by the Parks and Rec office with questions.

The Borough Assembly approved Parks and Rec fee changes in July. They take effect Sept. 1.