YMCA might run pool

Tiffin Park and Recreation Board members voted Thursday to recommend an agreement with Tiffin Community YMCA to operate the city swimming pool this summer, pending clarification of some financial points.

The board met in a special meeting to discuss the proposed contract. The recommendation next goes to Tiffin City Council.

In the meantime, board members directed Tiffin Park & Recreation Director Steve Dryfuse to meet with YMCA CEO Steve Crone to compare notes on a few financial matters “just to make sure we’re all on the same page.”

Dryfuse is to report on the meeting at the board’s next regular meeting is 11:30 a.m. March 14 in the conference room of the city building.

Board Chairman John Bing said the plan should work, according to his math.

Last year, pool operation ended the year with a deficit of nearly $32,000. But cutting expenses and increasing revenue should reduce the deficit considerably, he said.

Conservatively, he said the deficit should be reduced to at least $15,000 without taking donations into consideration, “so with $20,000 to $30,000 worth of contributions we should be able to make this work.”

According to a written operating plan submitted to the board by Crone, the pool would operate for 10 weeks from June 5 to Aug. 14, closing Mondays to reduce hours from 41 to 35 per week.

Daily fees would increase to $4 per day for youths and $6 per day for adults. A family day pass for two adults and children from the same family would be $15. Season passes would increase to $50 for youths, $80 for adults and $120 for families.

Revenue estimates would total $50,680 broken down as:

2,300 youth day visits for 69 days, $9,200.

700 adult day passes, $4,200.

50 youth season passes, $2,500.

30 adult season passes, $2,500.

Rental income at $100 per hour, $2,280.

Donations, grants and city support are not included in the total.For the plan to work, it assumes 250 family passes can be sold by May to generate $30,000.

The pool pass presale would start this month with a goal of selling 50 passes in March, 75 in April and 125 in May.

The city would provide capital maintenance such as equipment. And the city would cover operating losses and reimburse the YMCA for any losses it may incur, presumably from money raised through other fundraisers.

The YMCA would provide day-to-day maintenance of the pool and aquatic supervision.

Tiffin Mayor Aaron Montz said he is in favor of the contract with the YMCA.

“I’m very convinced the money will be raised to the pool. The Y only helps us get there easier,” Montz said. “We have to make sure the pool breaks even at the very least.”

He said breaking even would satisfy a stipulation in the exemption given by the city Public Works union. The exemption allows the city to hire employees for the pool despite limits elsewhere in the city.

If extra money is raised, he said it would go toward pool operations the following year.

Last week, employees of Real Living Generations Realty kicked off a campaign to raise funds in the community. The Music and Art Festival also has committed to help raise funds.

The goal is $42,000 to fund the pool and a July 4 fireworks display.

“We’re doing it because the kids need something in the summer to do,” said Jan Betz of Real Living Realty in an A-T report last week. “And it certainly is a big part of the community – Hedges-Boyer Park and the pool and the fireworks – it wouldn’t be summer without them.”