City testing waters on rate changes at pool for ‘22

Revenue at the Tracy Aquatic Center came in over budget by $13,327.23, but expenditures were above budget as well, Tracy City Administrator Erik Hansen reported at Monday’s Tracy City Council meeting.

Hansen also said the City is considering increasing some rates for next summer, but the daily admission rate won’t change.

The increase in spending was a result of higher maintenance costs from the facility being shut down for a year because of the pandemic and the City’s new chart of accounts and change in budgeting. The City expects that moving forward, its expenditure budget will be more accurate.

The total number of people who used the pool this year was approximately 6,200, with 1,730 paying daily admission; season passes were used 4,470 times. About 80 people visited the pool each day — roughly 542 per week. Also, 914 people participated in morning/evening swim during the season.

“Those are pretty good numbers overall,” said Hansen.

The pool also had 66 single-resident season pass holders and nine non-resident passes, as well as 57 resident family season pass holders and 19 non-resident season pass holders.

The City will not raise the daily rate ($6) for next summer, as it is comparable to other cities in the area, however there might be a cost increase in pool parties from the flat charge based on how many are in a party, to a per hour charge.

There is also a chance that swimming lesson rates and non-resident season pass costs will go up in 2022, but the final decisions won’t be made until the City’s budget is approved in December.

“The adjustments are relatively minor,” said Hansen. “We’re losing money on pool parties at this point, which doesn’t really make a lot of sense. “We’re going to look at 2022 as kind of an experimental year. Are there some things we need to do in terms of adjusting some hours? We’re going to look at our concessions a little more closely.”

Hansen said it’s a foregone conclusion that the City will continue to lose money on the pool, but the goal now is to lose as little as possible.

“How do we close that gap and think about the pool as a business, as much as we do a government service,” he said. “We will never make money … but we want to try to lose less.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.