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​Aquatic Center Costs

I've heard a lot of comments and received some inquiries about the Aquatic Center over the last few weeks.  Over the last couple months council has been provided a running total of the number of attendees at the aquatic center this year.  These numbers have been much closer to last years numbers than they have been to the first year's attendance numbers. 
 
We've heard a lot of rumors and seen some press releases of first year profits and second year losses but council has never asked staff to present anything in a committee meeting that we as a community can look at to help us understand the operational costs associated with the facility.   According to the contract after this season the YMCA will do reconcile the revenues and costs associated with the work they do.  From the best I can tell the first year this was about $110,000 to the good and the second year this was about $110,000 deficit and this year will be close to last year.  One revenue source beyond admission fees and concessions that would not be included in the YMCA numbers is the sponsorship revenue.  Include this and the first year revenue climbs to about $180,000 and the second year loss reduces about $35,000. 
 
Now how do we count the $90,000 grass cutting contract?
 
I started this article stating that I've had some inquiries about the aquatic center.  Below you can see one sample of questions I received and how I responded.
 
Who pays for the loss of money that the YMCA provides to the city? Let me rephrase this question into, who pays for cost above revenue due to aquatic center operations.  The answer will be the City of Huber Heights. 
 
Does this come out of the general fund, is this tax payers money that pays for it?  The money will come from one of the revenue sources of the city (most likely the current income or property tax) or from the general fund reserve.  
 
Are there any tax payers money used to pay for the building of the aquatic center? Taxpayer money is used to pay the debt associated with building the aquatic center
 

As it is not paying for itself, and probably will never based on other history of surrounding cities with water parks, how will it be paid for?  The money will come from one of the revenue sources of the city or from the general fund reserve. In this case however "revenue sources of the city" could be more broad than current income tax or property tax.  For instance the Aquatic Center revenues may increase, sponsorship may increase or a benefactor may donate money.  
 
In addition to the options of either closing the facility and or finding a different management arrangement another option may be to accept the facility will never be a successful pay as you go operation.  Perhaps we should reassess the entire concept and either lower or eliminate the admission cost to make the aquatic center a facility everyone in the community can enjoy no matter what their income. 
 

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