In a Wapakoneta City Council meeting earlier this month the issue of the Wapakoneta WaterPark earning enough revenue during colder seasons was brought to the attention of the board.
After having successful, warm summers in the past, bringing in many patrons and more revenue than expected, the city needed to dip into the carry-over money from previous seasons after the 2013 summer.
While no issue with funding is of immediate concern, the pool no longer has a contingency fund to dip into if upcoming summers are cooler than usual.
Rachel Barber, Wapakoneta City Council member and Wapakoneta WaterPark Advisory Board member, explained that in 2012 the attendance at the pool was 70,000, and in 2013 attendance at the pool was 43,000.
“That is a huge decline,” Barber said. “We love to have the pool open as much as we can, but the fact of the matter is if it’s an 80 degree day you will see 300 people at the pool, if it’s a 90 degree day you’ll see about 1,000 people at the pool.”
Barber said the pool has consistently made a profit, and has always funded itself. People have not changed their minds about coming to the pool. Problems with funding are not anticipated as long as weather is decent.
“The pool is a service the city is providing to the community, and historically the pool had belonged to the school system, and then the city took the pool and was able to do a major renovation and it reopened in July of 2008,” Barber said.
“The pool has consistently made a profit, so when the issue came up last week at council, this profit has been a carry-over because we’ve had some great summers, and for a pool a great summer is a hot summer. We didn’t have a hot summer last year, we had a cool summer, so it was the carry-over money that was then used to cover expenses.”
Barber explained the concern that was raised at council had more to do with the slow process of receiving the revenue reports for the summer of 2013.
“The concern that was raised stemmed not so much from the pool, as I see it as somebody on council, but the fact that because of these multi-month delays in getting the reporting back,” she said. “Nobody realized that in order to continue funding the pool they had to go into the carry-over to spend it.”
The pool funds itself through memberships, day passes, the concession stand, renting a semi-private shaded area in the cabana, or by renting the pool during the evenings. Barber said people also make donations to the pool.
For the full story, see the Saturday, March 1 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.