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With the decision at Monday’s city council meeting to keep the municipal swimming at Judge Lewis Park closed for the remainder of the year, it’s not too early to consider the future of the pool facility.
Several weeks ago Stone Planning released its feasibility study for potential recreational facilities in Mount Ayr.
The 70-page report is comprised of sections devoted to potential facilities, a market analysis, site analysis, case studies of similar facilities, funding analysis, operational analysis, and summary conclusions.
In a series of articles, the Record-News is examining each section of the report in detail.
[Text for these articles comes directly from the Stone report, with minor editorial changes.]
In the section entitled Operational Analysis, the Stone report examines the potential economic impacts from facility operations and estimated costs of each of the four proposed facilities: renovation of the existing pool, construction of a completely new pool, an indoor pool with limited wellness facilities, and indoor pool with extensive wellness facilities.
[This week’s article focuses on an operational analysis of a completely new pool.]
This scenario assumes that a new outdoor pool is built to replace the current pool. Assumed major characteristics of the pool are as follows:
• Square footage – we assume that the pool itself is the same size as the current pool (4,500 square feet), not including additional support spaces such as a bath house/locker room.
• We assume that the pool will have features and amenities that are not currently offered in Mount Ayr, such as (for example) a splash pad, slide, additional diving board(s), and/or other water features. These offerings are assumed to help generate additional pool usage. We assume this will add approximately an additional 500 square feet.
Projections for a new pool also use the same line items as the current pool, for ease of comparison. Assumptions regarding the operations of a new pool are as follows:
• Fees – we assume that fees will increase by 25 percent compared to a pool renovation scenario, from $6 to $7.50 per square foot.
• Salaries – with increased pool usage, we assume one additional position (to 13), with the same average cost of $2,200 per person.
• Training/Certification, Electric and Gas, Telephone, Sales Taxes Paid, Chemicals, and Concessions expenses – are all assumed to be the same rates as in the renovation scenario.
• Repairs/Maintenance, Miscellaneous/Safety Equipment, Advertising, and Liability Insurance – are all assumed to increase by approximately 20 to 33 percent compared to the renovation scenario.
Forecasts for the ten-year period for a new pool, compared to 2018 results for the existing pool, appear on the table below.
As the table shows, revenues are projected to increase to 57 percent of expenses annually, which is a significant improvement over past results at the current pool.
Estimated economic and fiscal impacts
Assumptions regarding the estimates of economic and fiscal impacts for the new pool scenario (for a fifth year of operations) are as follows:
• Residence of Users – we assume that 60 percent of pool users live in Mount Ayr and 40 percent live outside of the city.
• Spending in Mount Ayr – we assume the average visitor spends $6 at the pool, and $1 (Mount Ayr residents) and $3 (non-Mount Ayr residents) outside of the pool but in the city.
• Taxes – we assume that all spending is taxed at 5 percent, as in the renovation scenario.
• Staffing – we assume that 100 percent of paid employees live in Mount Ayr, as in the renovation scenario.
• Construction – based on engineering estimates, construction costs are assumed to be approximately $3.2 million. We assume that 10 percent of materials and services costs are captured by Mount Ayr-based companies, and 10 percent of labor expenditures are captured by city residents.
Based on these assumptions, estimated impacts from pool operations (Year 5) and construction are summarized in the table below.
[The next article in this series will present an operational analysis and financial impact of an indoor/outdoor pool facility with limited fitness offerings.]