While the state of Minnesota has opened the door for pools around the state to open, Rush City has decided to keep its pool closed.
The Rush City School Board received reports from outgoing Superintendent Will Campbell and Athletic Director Lee Rood at its virtual meeting on Thursday, June 18, and both painted a grim picture should the pool open.
“If we were to open the pool on July 1, we would anticipate deficit spending of over $90,000,” Campbell said. “The board and the community need to see there would be quite a loss if we were to open.”
The biggest culprit in the deficit is a lack in revenues caused by offering no swimming lessons, which in years past netted roughly $20,000 in revenue, as well as limited concessions, which would generate only $6,000 in a shorter time frame. For comparison, last year the pool’s concession stand resulted in $24,822.43 in revenue.
Meanwhile the fixed costs of the pool were anticipated to be $132,900, only a small dip from the previous year’s total of more than $144,000.
Board Chairperson Stefanie Folkema agreed with that assessment, adding, “It’s just not fiscally responsible to the taxpayers to open the Aquatic Center this summer, as unfortunate as that is.”
Rood added that there would be other difficulties in opening the pool.
“If you look through the guidelines from the Minnesota Department of Health, it would be problematic to hire a staff,” he said. “A lot of the potential staff have found other jobs. And the pool would have to be different than it has been. For example, there are some pieces of equipment we couldn’t have because we could not social distance around them. Would we have to close portions of the pool during the day? It would be difficult to run the pool in the way we have in years past based on these guidelines.”