Active-duty military to be considered local residents

mowen@ledger-enquirer.comJune 18, 2013 

Columbus Council approved a proposed fee schedule Tuesday for the new Columbus Aquatic Center with two amendments.

The proposed fee package was amended to include all active-duty military personnel as Muscogee County residents, regardless of where they live. But City Manager Isaiah Hugley pulled a section of the schedule that granted city employees a discount, an idea that was not embraced unanimously by council.

Under the proposal, employees who are enrolled in the city's health clinic program could use the center for free. Employees not en

rolled in the plan would get a 50 percent discount, Hugley said.

The idea, Hugley said, was to encourage participation in the health clinic plan, which saves the city money.

Several councilors, among them Jerry "Pops" Barnes, expressed support for granting a discount for city employees.

"We need to show our general service employees how much we truly appreciate their efforts in this government," Barnes said.

But Councilor Mike Baker felt otherwise.

"When we take a fee-based facility that we've talked for two years about concerns over the operating deficit, and the first thing we do is offer free and discounted fees, that's the wrong approach," Baker said.

The city employee discount was pulled, but will be revisited at a later date, Hugley said.

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