Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Summer-only pool budget numbers

The WRAs Lauresha Xhihani reports on the Council's expected action to send the $7 million Open Aire pool enclosure to referendum. And the next step in that process is the May 25 public hearing... to be followed by a likely June 22 referendum.

Not yet sure when absentee ballots will be available.

And for those of you who had requested details on the cost of a summer-only pool... here is staff's kool-aid version of a budget for a summer-only facility:The reason I joke is because I recall being told that lifeguards were not required at Mixville. But lifeguards are necessary at the pool?

And instructors are required? I don't think so.

That's a budget and policy decision. And to suggest that those are unavoidable costs is wrong.

Don't misunderstand me though. I appreciate that staff acknowledged there are assumptions in this fiscal analysis and therefore provided ranges for some budget numbers. But when you juxtapose certain "variable" numbers with the seemingly "fixed" numbers... I'm left scratching my head... wondering if this is just more fuzzy math... similar to when the Council was told that staff "had to" speak in favor of Mayor John Destefano's regional sales tax.


Nope. These so-called fixed expenses could be reduced or eliminated entirely. Again though, that would be a political decision. And frankly, I think there's a huge benefit to having swim classes as swimming is an extremely valuable skill IMO. It just irks me to have staff offer up this stuff in a manner that is supposedly apolitical... when we all know that some people can be extremely political.

I'm just a believer that a manager should manage, not act like an elected Mayor.

Tim White


Anonymous said...

$58,500 for a full time Pool Director for a pool that is open for 2 to 3 months at the most?

What do the instructors do? When I took my kids there for swim lessons, we had to pay. Group lessons were the worse.We would pay for half hour lessons and there would be 6 other kids in the class. My child was lucky to get 6-8 minutes of lessons.

If we could do this where the town would pay less than $100K then I say lets do it.

tim white said...

You may recall that in the past (I think two years ago), the Council always voted to raise the prices. But then one day, the TM decided to lower the prices. (Essentially you have the Council "raise taxes," but then the TM "cuts taxes." Brilliant, huh?)

I recall the argument was that the price increases had reduced the number of users.

At the time I commented that reducing prices was almost certain to increase the number of users, but not necessarily reduce the $400,000 subsidy.

The obvious goal of the TM was not to reduce the subsidy, but to increase his usage numbers of the pool... further justifying his spending goals.

Anonymous said...

The numbers provided here supposedly developed by knowledgeable town staff just don't support even a summer only municipal pool. If one assumes that summer-time swimming would be associated with peak use over a 12 month period because for instance younger people would be in school for the other 8 months of the year and have less free time available then the numbers shown here are peak usage numbers.

Look at the maximum estimated day pass value of about 8,850 spread over 122 days for maybe 10 or 12 hours per day. A whopping 6 day pass swimmers per hour! Go ahead, throw in the maximum estimated additional season pass users too - - 525 passes spread over 122 days. Maybe that would boost the swimmers per hour to something like 6.4 swimmers per hour.

It almost appears that to have an average of 5 or 6 swimmers per hour the town would directly field about 10 or 12 workers - - 2 workers for every swimmer. And that 4 month $58,500 line item for a part time summer only director seems a bit over the top.

Someone needs to show us tax payers that this present town pool actually attracts and provides necessary services to maybe 4 or 5 thousand town residents, right now and that if we spend 10 million more of our tax dollars there will be 7 to 10 thousand town residents lining up to use the new pool. On second thought, towns like Cheshire have absolutely no business owning and running swimming pools.

Anonymous said...

We must see numbers before we can make an informed vote at the referendum.
How is it that we can't get a number of unique pool users over the past several years?

It sounds like those who want to keep the pool a year round entity, don't want us to know the true facts.

I would guess that 10% to 15% of the town may use the pool. Does that make it worth a $7 million investment and and additional $500K per year subsidy?

Not in my book!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone really believe that 15% of town residents use the pool on a regular basis? That would be over 4,000 people. It looks more like less than maybe, at most 200 - 500 people based on the view driving by from RT10.

The town needs to provide the voters with a set of hard firm numbers. Spending 7 million more for even 500 sporadic swimmers comes to about $14,000 per swimmer, before annual operating expenses, which is just ridiculous.

Come on town, it is past time to fess up to just how many thousands of town residents are using the pool every week, 52 weeks per year.

Anonymous said...

In the 7 million dollar proposal, is the cost of replacing the polycabonate panels every 10-15 years (life cycle without chlorine breakdown) included? I was talking to a farmer who says he replaces the panels on his greenhouses every few years because the panel R-value breaksdown and becomes inefficient.
So, what would the true 40 year cost be if we need to replace the panels 3-4 times?

Anonymous said...

Why is Adinolfi wasting a seat on the town council? Is he even capable of looking at long term solutions or will the rest of his 2 year tenure on the TC consist of political lobbying on TC time?

I'm really disappointed with him...of the democrats that ran in the past election he appeared bright enough to look for long-term least that's what he campaigned when he was on my doorstep last year. He promised to put aside politics and work with all parties to resolve issues such as the pool "once and for all".

So far, this sock puppet has done nothing positive on the TC. It seems that Adinolfi is simply content to look for opportunities to use his microphone on the TC to throw jabs at the Republicans, lobby for the democrats and simply play on people's emotions.

He's as much of a disappointed as the pool bubble and his short-sighted pool bubble fix.

Anonymous said...

"The town needs to provide the voters with a set of hard firm numbers."

I just sprayed coffee on my keyboard laughing at the above statement. This town providing HARD FIRM numbers is as likely to happen as Michael Milone resolving the CPD problems. Don't hold your breath.

Anonymous said...

I heard that voting for the june referendum will ONLY be at the High School?
It is shocking that the TC has made this decision.
Either they expect voter turn out to be so low tht they can go from 7to 1 votig places- in which case they should wait until Nov. to hold the Elelction or else they WANT voter turn out to be low and are going to do everything they can to keep people away from the polls. Prople wont vote either because they do not know where to go, some elderly because they dont want to drive that far or becasue they dont want to wait in line.
What a disgrace...I though we wanted to ENCOURAGE voter turn out....looks like it is encouraging selective voter turn out instead.

Anonymous said...

The polycarbonate is only on the roof panels that move, all others panels are insulated glass. The reason the local greenhouse guy replaces his panels is due to a yellowing affect of the polycarbonate. Also, the thickness of the poly they use is considerably less than that what is planned for the pool. Second, the newer polycarbonate have a greater amount of UV protection built in so panel life is longer. Remember, the panels do not structurally fail, they are replaced only due to cosmetic issues.

Anonymous said...

Interesting in that the $20,000 fee that the CHS (education) pays the town for the use of the pool for CHS swim teams is not listed in the revenue section.

Anonymous said...

802 p.m. -"Second, the newer polycarbonate have a greater amount of UV protection built in so panel life is longer. ..."

Defending polycarbonate? Why aren't we getting tempered glass panels? Glass usually outlasts plastic.

It appears that many polycarbonate panels are covered by only a limited, short term warranty. The warranty length is not conducive to quality commercial or institutional facilities where useful life of greater than say 25 years would be desirable or required. Many of the polycarbonate panel limited warranties appear to last for no more than 10 years.

The PBC should be adding 2 or 3 panel replacement expenses into their operating figures for the life of their dream facility.

Anonymous said...

I like the pool. I want to buy a $500 brick to show my support. Who do I call? Where do I send my money? Why isn't anyone from the swimming community trying to raise some private money? Are they all socialist who expect the government to subsidize there recreation needs? Really, get someone to raise money like the turf community is doing. I'll buy the first brick for $500

Anonymous said...

I have a bridge you can buy.

Actually, we could sell bricks and stack the in the pool. Or, sell shovel loads of dirt and fill it in. Drain the pool and turn it into a new skate park. Let it freeze in the winter and it is a skating rink/hockey arena. Speaking of which, when will we build a rink to appease the hockey players? We catered to the swimmers, why not hockey players? 7 million can build a real nice rink