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Mixed feelings after Hampstead hikes user fees for pool, tennis court

For the first time in more than a decade, Hampstead has decided to increase its user fees.

Last year, pool access for residents was $4 for a child and $6 for an adult. This summer, it’s $15 for children and adults.

For non-residents, it’s $25 per person.

“We completely empathize and recognize that there are a lot of people who are unhappy with this decision,” Hampstead Mayor Jeremy Levi.

Levi says there are several reasons for the price jump. Prices remained the same for more than 15 years. Inflation is putting a strain on the town’s budget and the pool runs a deficit of $100,000 annually.

Many residents complained to the mayor about overcrowding.

“It became a disaster; we had constant complaints from residents,” Levi said. “It was overcrowded. Residents just didn’t want to go to the pool.”

It’s not just pool fees that have gone up. Hampstead has increased prices at the tennis court too.

“I know from tennis, my membership went up 60 per cent, so I think it’s highway robbery,” Francine Bishinsky, a Cote St-Luc resident, said.

Others agree with the town’s move and say Hampstead citizens should be favoured.

“At the end of the day, it is the Hampstead pool, it is the Hampstead facilities, the residents should have priority,” Lindsay Sacks, a Hampstead resident, said. “If it’s still not available to everyone, then fees have to go up.”

Yaacov Whitman can’t believe how much it would cost a non-resident family to go to the pool for the day.

“I think it’s pretty crazy if you’re a family of four, just to go to the pool for a few hours, $100 that seems kind of crazy to me,” said Whitman, a non-resident. 

Hampstead is considering adding a day pass option for families.

“For our resident users, we are looking to add another tier for a daily pass. Make it a family day pass,” Levi said. “All of the members of your household can come to the pool for one fixed amount.” Top Stories

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