The city of Union recovers approximately 65 percent of funds spent on the operation of the swimplex, according to Parks Director Angela Sullivan.
The city budgeted $163,550 for pool operations, including personnel, supplies and materials, utilities, maintenance and repairs. Expenses were approximately $152,328 for the 2016-2017 season, the city budget report says.
Sullivan said funds are recovered through special events such as pool rentals, concession stand operation and admission fees.
While city staff knows the aquatics center runs at a deficit, City Administrator Russell Rost said there are a lot of positive aspects to having such a facility, including providing summer jobs for area youth, recreation for residents and visitors, and providing a safe, supervised area to learn to swim.
Sullivan said one of her goals is to review current revenue outlets to see if revenue can be increased with the addition of special events.
The city has managed the pool for 20 of the 21 years it’s been in operation.
The city used a maintenance company to manage the pool one year, but “it wasn’t the right fit for the city,” Sullivan said the parks maintenance supervisor told her.
The swimplex was built on the site of the old aquatics facility and it’s thought that the city went without a pool during its construction over the summers of 1994 and 1995.
Construction of the pool was partially funded through a Land and Water Conservation grant, which provides matching grants to states and local governments for the acquisition and development of public outdoor recreation areas and facilities.
Sullivan said the biggest change at the pool in the past two decades was upgrading the filter, which used diatomaceous earth, to a sand filter, which has made the pool more efficient and easier to maintain.