Preliminary aquatic budget set at $417,134

Posted 4/5/07

Setting up a budget from scratch involves a lot of estimating and fine-tuning. Construction is on track for a Feb. 28, 2010 completion (see related story), but the budget may be adjusted a bit before then. The proposed budget has already undergone …

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Preliminary aquatic budget set at $417,134


{gallery}06_11_09/pool{/gallery} Construction of the Powell Aquatic Center is moving along, and walls may begin to go up in a few weeks. Jeremy West, a Sletten Construction crew member, works on a portion of the recreation pool and endless river Wednesday morning. Tribune photo by Carla Wensky Months before swimmers will start splashing in the Powell Aquatic Center, numbers are being crunched to determine how much it will cost to operate the facility. The aquatic department's preliminary operating budget for the fiscal year 2009-10 is estimated at $417,134.

Setting up a budget from scratch involves a lot of estimating and fine-tuning. Construction is on track for a Feb. 28, 2010 completion (see related story), but the budget may be adjusted a bit before then. The proposed budget has already undergone multiple revisions.

“This is our best guess,” said City Administrator Zane Logan.

City leaders looked at operating budgets of other aquatic facilities, but each pool is unique, so the budget must be tailored accordingly.

“With a new pool, it's really hard to estimate how many chemicals we'll need and the utility costs,” said Carrie Parmer, the aquatic superintendent.

“The heating side of it is the largest mystery,” added Annette Thorington, city finance director. “It's a climate in itself — it's hard to know what the heating costs will be.”

Parmer said she combed through all the budget items to determine what was absolutely necessary to begin operation. She also factored in which items, such as furniture or equipment, were included in the bid from the project's general contractor, Sletten Construction of Wyoming.

Parmer proposed the budget to the Powell City Council during preliminary budget sessions this spring. Aquatic facility expenses and revenue are tracked in the general fund, along with other department budgets.

The aquatic facility expenses include: $208,598 for salaries and wages; $15,331 for health and life insurance, $50,000 for heat and electricity; $76,561 for pool maintenance and supplies; and $8,843 for training.

The department plans to staff three full-time employees, including Parmer, an aquatic coordinator and head lifeguard. Parmer estimates the facility will need 45 part-time seasonal staff members to operate. Most part-time employees will be high-school and college students covering two shifts so the facility can be open for early-morning and evening hours.

Salaries are broken down to the following amounts and positions: $51,347, aquatic director (1); $17,000 aquatic coordinator (1); $14,000, head lifeguard (1); $20,000 office assistant (4); $25,000 instructors (12); $27,000 lifeguards during the school year (15); $25,000, additional lifeguards during the summer (15); and $24,000 aquatic clerks (8).

The aquatic director's salary is the only one that reflects a full year of wages, as others will be hired later in the fiscal year.

“Actual hire dates are very general. At this point, I believe that we will bring on the aquatic coordinator early in 2010 and the head lifeguard will be on board only a week or two prior to our open date. Their start dates will be staggered. Both positions will be brought on a bit early to assist with the last-minute details of opening,” Parmer said.

The budget also includes around $69,000 for educational supplies, which will be paid for through a transfer of funds from the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES). The organization designated $75,000 for educational equipment and material for the aquatic facility.

Parmer said the money will pay for tools for swimming lessons, such as kick boards, mannequins for CPR-training, software and other training tools.

The $69,000 from the BOCES transfer is tallied in the aquatic center's projected revenue. Other project revenue includes: $30,000 from the capital facilities tax endowment; $3,900 from the center's pro shop, which will offer an assortment of swimming gear; $15,335 from lane rentals and $37,450 from admission and membership fees.

Parmer said the city is still calculating specific charges for lane rental and membership rates. Lane rental revenue for 2009-10 does not include Park County School District No. 1, because the pool will open near the end of the school's competition season. Other local entities that may rent lanes include the Powell Swim Club and Northwest College.

The facility will offer rates for families, singles, punch cards and walk-ins.

City leaders hope to make the facility self-sustaining.

“We've got to run this as best we can for the whole community, and to run it as close to a business as possible,” Logan said.

The aquatic operating budget, part of the fiscal year 2009-2010 budget, will undergo its third reading during the city council meeting at 7 p.m. Monday.