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Alpharetta Plans Gym Membership Cards

Residents and non-residents alike would need a membership card to use the Community Center or Rec Center during open gym time.

Alpharetta residents and non-residents soon will need to get a membership card to take advantage of open gym time at the Alpharetta Community Center and the Recreation Center.

Recreation Director Mike Perry said the plan was suggested as a security and liability measure and not for revenue. City residents won't even be charged for the photo identification card.

Many of the visitors to the gyms come during lunch time. What they have found out that the people who signed in could be from anywhere. And a lot weren't from Alpharetta.

"I think it all came to a head [when] another jurisdiction had a major crime," Perry said. Some gym visitors left their facility and the sign-in sheets were of no help identifying who the individual was. Alpharetta Recreation and Parks staff thought that maybe it was time to put some security at the gym.

At present, the staffer who mans the front desk does more than just check people in to the gym. Automating the check-in with membership cards will allow for some security and accountability on the gym visitors.

Forsyth County and Roswell are in process to take similar measures. Roswell will start a similar membership system at the start of January or February 2014. Forsyth was starting before then.

The membership cards would be created in house. The total cost anticipated was $5,000. Anyone who loses a card will be charged for a replacement card.

Other details were being left to staff  to iron out, such as how much non-residents would be charged, how should the city's corporate citizens should be treating and what about family members, such as visiting nieces and nephews.

Council members were supportive of the idea, but brought up other issues, such as admission of a friend with a city resident showing a membership card.

"The devil is in the details," Perry said.

Recreation and Parks staff will work out the details and return to City Council.

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