I know some opinions have previously been expressed on this board about the town pool and whether it is infrastructure or an amenity. I wanted to start this discussion because I believe there is a great deal of mis-information about the pool.

Park and Rec decided to close the pool becuase they were told to reduce their costs to the town. The town pool is the only Park and Rec facility that is measured for on its total cost (facility cost, operating cost and revenue generation). The maintenance costs (not to mention capital or acquisition costs) for all fields, buildings and other spaces are all covered under seperate budgets so when Park and Rec looks at their budgets the only one they can truly measure is the Pool and it is a net cost to the town.

The pool has previously been operated in a way that is a luxury to the town. It has had extensive open hours that are costly for staffing of guards and it has not had a program in place to generate additional revenue. This has made it appear much more costly to the town than it should. In prior years it has generated losses in excess of $100,000. The Park and Rec Commissioners took some drastic steps to limit those loses by reducing operating hours and making it available on a very limited basis.

This limited basis lacked a focus on generating additional revenue to cover costs so the facility still appears to be a big loser. Park and Rec made a difficult decision that was fiscally based and decided to close the pool. The next town budget includes an annual cost of $33,600 to maintain the pool until it can be demolished. There is not yet a budget for the demolition of the facility but Park and Rec is using an estimate of $150,000 as the potential cost.

A group of community members has been formed to keep the pool open for a limited number of years until a potential replacement can be built. This group has developed a business plan of operating the pool as a rental facility. That means that our town teams will continue to use the facility and our summer camps will also have access to it. It is estimated that this impacts over 250 families in town. The Wayland Junior Warriors have over 140 kids that swim on that team alone. The facility will be used by children from Pre-School through High School. The current plan to operate the pool in this manner is budgeted at $32,000. This is less than the cost to maintain the facility if it were closed.

I think that the discussion by others of amenities versus infrastructure is a valid discussion in these tight fiscal times. Perhaps all services should be evaluated on such a basis but it is impossible for me to understand how you could spend an estimate $183,600 to destroy a town asset when it would cost less than $33,000 to operate it.