Members of the Houston Park Board met Thursday with the Houston City Council to discuss a recreational facility. 

The Houston Municipal Swimming Pool had a big jump in attendance before closing Labor Day for the season. The increase helped it narrow its annual deficit, the Houston City Council heard Tuesday night.

Summer attendance stood at 4,116, which was 1,687 swimmers above 2016’s total. With attendance fees, concessions, swim lessons and swim team revenue, about $21,177 was generated. Expenses totaled $36,046, which were down slightly from last year.

For 2017, the swimming pool lost only $14,869, which is traditionally a loss leader for the season. Two years ago, the loss was $20,280.  The parks and recreation department is overseen by Drew Jordan.

In other matters, members:

—Approved a $1,500 contribution to Community Betterment and Arts Council of Houston to help with expenses of taking its youth program to the 64th annual Missouri Community Betterment conference, “Rural Progress and Pride” Oct. 15-16 in Columbia.

—Heard City Administrator Tona Bowen report that she will be meeting with the council’s finance committee and managers beginning the first week in October to begin formulation of the 2018 budget.

—Received an update from Bowen on health insurance talks. Discussions with firms have begun for 2018 coverage. She said employees will be included on a committee that reviews the options, too.

—Learned water and electrical services have been added at Rutherford Park off Westview Drive. A water fountain and lights are in place, Bowen said.  

—Discussed transitioning the city council’s meeting packets and other documents to a digital-based tablet system rather than paper. The cost is estimated at $450 monthly.

—Heard about free training available under “Livable Streets,” after an inquiry from Healthy Communities, Healthy Schools, an initiative to improve health and fitness that has poured tens of thousands of dollars into local efforts.  

The Missouri Livable Streets project seeks to support and improve the health, well-being and economic vitality of all people and communities across the state through transportation and active living policy development and education.

It isn’t just about building sidewalks and bike lanes, it’s about making communities more connected and open to people regardless of age, ability or mode of transportation. Livable Streets policies promote healthy, vibrant communities that businesses want to invest in, people want to live in and tourists want to visit, organizers say.

The city and council will be involved in the training.

—Heard of two vacancies on the city’s workforce: a journeyman lineman position, which hadn’t been filled from an earlier departure, and the manager of the city’s water and sewer department. Jerry Jackson announced he was stepping down from his department head duties to work within the department.

—Adjourned into a closed session to discuss personnel. There were no votes.

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