The City of West Carrollton will keep Wilson Park Pool located at 1226 S. Elm St. closed in 2020.
“This has been a difficult decision as we know the pool is a very popular part of our community,” said City Manager Brad Townsend, “but, we took a holistic approach to determining what was best for our citizens both personally and fiscally.”
The City’s core mission is the health, safety and welfare of the community. First and foremost, that entails providing the best possible services in the areas of police, fire, EMS and utilities (water, sewer, and refuse.)
Opening Wilson Pool includes a myriad of tasks including prepping and maintaining the pool, personnel hiring, training, scheduling and managing the pool. In response to the Ohio Department of Health’s mandatory operating guidelines as well as the requirement to maintain social distancing and additional sanitizing practices indefinitely, the City wants to ensure the safety of our citizens as best we are able. To ensure these safety standards would also increase the general operating costs of the pool.
The City currently subsidizes 36% of the pool costs to keep rates affordable for our citizens therefore, it would be impossible to stay within the city’s budgeted subsidy based on the state’s operating guidelines.
There has been significant economic impact across the region from shutdowns due to the pandemic. The City of West Carrollton has incurred a loss of income tax revenue of approximately $536,000 or 14 percent for the months of March and April and is forecasting total losses of at least $1,100,000 or 20 percent for the year as a whole. Financial cuts across all departments have been made to offset 25 percent or $180,000 of the current deficit. Keeping the pool closed for the 2020 season will assist in those efforts to ensure that the City is able to continue to take the best care of our residents.
“This was not an easy decision to make, but without economic assistance from either the state or federal government to replace the revenue loss incurred, we just don’t have the money available to operate the pool this year. It is disappointing to us all but, in the end, the safety of our citizens is most important to us,” stated Townsend.