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Review of Carbonear pool fee structure likely as revenue declines

['Carbonear Swimming Pool']
['Carbonear Swimming Pool']

CARBONEAR, NL — Users of the swimming pool in Carbonear could find themselves paying more for the facility's services in 2018.

That's at least one option on the table as the town ponders how to address a shortfall in revenue from the facility. According to Rob Button, Carbonear's recreation director, revenue from the pool was approximately 10 per cent below what the town budgeted up to now, almost three-quarters of the way through the year.

The town budgeted for $260,000 in pool revenue for 2017. Right now, that figure is at $208,000, according to the recreation director.

"If things go as they have in years previous, we should meet that obligation," he said.

Carbonear recreation director Rob Button.

Button said a decline in the number of kids signing up for swimming lessons accounts for much of the revenue shortfall, with numbers for general swims also down. Figures for lessons were down compared to the previous year in both the winter and spring seasons, though numbers for the summer were on par with years past.

Coun. Ed Goff questioned Button during the Sept. 18 council meeting about whether the town could take steps to find ways to increase revenue through more rentals. Rentals at the pool facility have not suffered the same fate as lesson enrollment figures, said Button.

Increasing the number of rental blocks available would also require expanding operating hours, and with most rentals related to kids, Button doubts whether booking availability for later in the evening would generate more cash for the pool.

Goff went on to suggest there might be ways to create opportunities for new rentals by shifting the schedule. As an example, he suggested swim team practices on Fridays could happen earlier in the afternoon.

Button indicated he would recommend come budget time that the town review the fee structure for the pool.

"I have started some investigation with regards to fees around the province," he said. "Some of the pools in smaller areas, we're almost there or we're around about the same."

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