Washington city leaders agreed to a one-year contract to address management at the city pool while the future of the aquatics complex is determined.

The city council Monday unanimously approved an ordinance entering into an agreement with Midwest Pool Management to oversee the Agnes Nolting Aquatics Complex operations this summer.

Midwest Pool Management was the only firm to submit a bid when the city sought a request for proposal (RFP) for the services.

The pool has been discussed by the city’s capital improvement sales tax committee, which identified its replacement as a potential project if voters approve an eight-year extension of the tax this April.

There has been $4 million of proposed sales tax funds allocated for a new pool. The committee discussed the pool for weeks before settling on both a price and scope of the work.

Committee members agreed $4 million would, at the very minimum, help replace the existing outdoor pool and a portion of the money could be used to explore the need for an indoor facility.

Councilman Jeff Patke suggested to Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle the city explore in-house management of the pool once decisions are made.

“I do appreciate that we just went for a one-year contract and we have an option for two or three,” he said. “If we do go with new pool, and I hope that’s the direction we are going, that we look in-house (management) and if it would be cost-effective — if it would be worth our while to do that in-house and keep employees throughout the year for what we need.”

“For now this is the best way to go, no doubt,” Patke added.

If the pool is replaced, the contract would have to change. While the details are being worked out, Dunkle said the best option is to keep the management contract on a yearly basis.

“Due to the timing of this and a transition into possibly a new pool, that would be the best time to look,” Dunkle said. “It will give us time to do the research and determine what the cost would be.”

The contract calls for a management fee of $21,690 and a maintenance fee of $25,196 for 2018. The maximum base salary for staff is not to exceed $83,189 and $10,543 for cashiers.

Dunkle said the prices have fluctuated somewhat from the previous contract. He said the deal was about $30,000-$35,000 less than the old deal.

“The price is very reasonable and actually a little less than in the past,” he said.

Dunkle has stated the Midwest Pool contract covers “everything but water.” The firm is responsible for the hiring of lifeguards and running the day-to-day operations of the pool.

Midwest Pool has been managing the aquatics complex for several years.

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