Maybe it is midwinter and no one is swimming in the Honey Lake Valley Community Pool these days, but the planning for the next season and opening day this spring is already a work in progress.
Ressa Rice, with years of involvement at the old Roosevelt Pool, stepped up when the former pool manager left his position unexpectedly last year. She was recently hired as the new pool manager by the Susanville City Council, and she is already moving plans forward for the next season.
Reese and the Honey Lake Valley Recreation Authority members recognize they have no numbers from the spring season last year to project for this year because the pool opened later in the season.
While everyone seems to agree the pool, created by a joint powers act between the city and the county, will see the most business in the summer months after school gets out, accurate projections for the spring “shoulder season” may be hard to come by.
Brian Wilson, who was elected Tuesday, Jan. 16 to another term as board president, expressed his concerns about some of the budget numbers and figures presented to the board.
When Wilson asked how much money the authority had, he was told $155,953.91. When he asked how much money the authority had that was not committed, he was told about $130,000.
The authority has already received its $80,000 contribution from both the city and the county, and any other income would come from patrons using the pool.
Wilson also expressed concern that in its first year — operating since July — the pool’s operational recovery is only 55 percent. He wants that number to be higher. He said he hoped the pool could recover about 60 to 70 percent of its cost at the gate. He said at 55 percent, the pool is not sustainable.
Board member Kathie Garnier said community fundraising projects could finance capital improvements such as benches and tables.
As the authority board discussed the budget, Wilson suggested a balance needed to be struck between income and expenses. The pool makes money when it’s open, but expenses such a payroll come along with that.
Board member Tom Hammond said, “We need to figure out how to get people to walk through the front door.”
He asked about customer satisfaction at the pool last year, and Rice said everyone was really excited. She hadn’t heard about a lot of negative experiences.
Rice said she planned to open the pool in April rather than March because she didn’t see much revenue coming in March, and she plans to lean toward a block schedule that would cut back on personnel costs. She said the program specific operation should be more cost effective.
She said she scheduled hours for swim parties for local schools and hours for the newly formed swim team.
Wilson said Rice should sharpen her pencil, because he was concerned about budget projections that showed only $3,000 in revenue between April and June.
According to the plan, between April 2 and June 2 the pool would open Monday, Wednesday and Friday for adult lap swim, adult water walking, aqua aerobics, schools and the swim team.
On Tuesday and Thursday, the pool would open for adult lap swim, adult water walking, schools and the swim team.
On Saturday, the pool would open for private party rentals, public swim and adult lap swim.
The pool will be closed on Sunday.