City Discusses Community Pool Finances


At the Finance Committee meeting on November 18, 2019, Mayor Forthofer said he reviewed the capital expense obligations and usage is for the pool. He said between 2018 and 2019 the individual memberships decreased from 5 to 2 due to the weather. Family memberships in 2018 were 46 and in 2019 they had 32. However, the estimated walk-ups increased to 2,500 in 2019 from 2,000 in 2018. They believe it’s because they didn’t sell that many individual memberships because of the rain at the beginning of the season. The total seasonal costs for 2018 was $51,800, and in 2019 it was $50,413. All income totaled $20,082 in 2018 and $16,942 in 2019 for a balance in 2018 of ($31,708) and ($33,471) in 2019.

Tony Valerius, Service Director, explained the capital investments consist of the installation of a new heater in the amount of $4,000. The city received a donation of a heater last year. He said it will cost around $2,000 to replace the roof on the pool building, leak repairs are estimated at $40,000, and the concrete deck replacement is estimated at $67,700 – totaling $113,700 for all capital investments.

Mayor Forthofer said they are losing about 1” to 1 1/2'” a day in water, which is 2,544 gallons of water a day. They don’t know where it’s going, but near the shed it’s pretty wet.

Barb Brady, Council Member, didn’t feel there were many people using the pool daily, especially if you look at the breakdown of the total walk-ins over four months.

Mayor Forthofer said he has received phone calls from people asking where they can send their donations. Additionally, the owner of Kingston wants to set up a meeting with the administration with regards to raising money for the proposed pool project in order to keep it running as it’s very important to the community. He said he never mentioned raising money, but this is the unsolicited support they’re receiving.

Brian Holmes, Chairman, said this information is eye-opening and he too has received calls with the expectation of keeping the pool open. He said they have heard the finance director talk about the fact there is more money in the general fund, and people are saying they need to fix the pool and keep it open. He said he would love to attend the meeting with the folks from Kingston. The volunteers and residents of the community have been amazing when it comes to giving, and he couldn’t thank everyone enough. He said if the city can do something to help cut the costs to get all the capital items fixed so they can continue to keep the pool open, this would be great.

Monica Stark, Council at Large, asked the finance director if the receipts from this year follow the numbers of what is exactly received. Amy Hendricks said they break it down by membership passes, daily admissions, swim lessons, donations, and if there are rentals for parties. Stark asked how much the vending machines bring in for pool revenue. She wondered if there is something more they can do. Hendricks wasn’t aware they had vending machines at the pool, and wonders if the vendors receive those actual proceeds.

Stark asked if anyone has investigated a solar cover to help with water evaporation and costs in heating the pool. She thought the heater installation price seemed high and wondered if the city should get additional quotes. Council Member John Gabriel said the reason the installation is high is because they must retrofit a different heater from what the pool came with. He said once they dig up the pool deck, they should come up with a contingency number because most likely there will be additional problems once they get into this because it could be much worse than what they imagine.

Stark asked if they investigated what the City of Amherst did when they upgraded their pool. She said the nicer they can make their pool, the more people it would attract.

Terry Parker, Chairman of the Parks and Recreation Board, didn’t know if the statistics showed how many different people are using the pool. Are they looking at 500 people using the pool, or the same 200 people using it.

Mayor Forthofer said they don’t have this differentiation.

Parker said as far as the parks levy, they have been working diligently to plan their expenses, so they live within their means. They have capital expenses planned out through 2023. The first time they would have a significant chunk not planned for would be in 2022.

They have a major development they’re about to launch down at Main Street Beach. The capital levy is the smaller of the two levies – it brings in half of what the operating levy brings in. The operating levy was passed to increase management and manpower so they could keep up with maintenance, and some of this is way beyond maintenance.

Mayor Forthofer complimented the Parks Board on their capital planning.

Holmes asked city council to go home and think about this matter and come back at another meeting to give suggestions on what they can do.