Thursday, May 31, 2018

The municipal pool at the Lake Worth Beach was shut down 7½ years ago. Why? Not enough money in City budget.

A previous City administration discovered in October 2010 that having an Olympic-sized lap pool at the Beach wasn’t economically feasible. Then something very interesting happened the very next year.

But first, enjoy this video:

Our precious pool wasn't making enough money to stay open. So it was shut down in 2010. . .

So revenue was a concern, you see. Or was. The city manager back then was Susan Stanton. She was fired in 2011 and a few months later Michael Bornstein was hired to be the city manager. Now fast forward to 2015 following all the pressure that was put on Bornstein and the City to reopen the pool, which it was, but guess what happened next? A surprising turnaround. Learn more about that below.

 Some former electeds and administration official
responsible for this mess at the Beach:
From L to R, facing: Joann Golden has her hand on Suzanne Mulvehill’s shoulder, Chris McVoy, PhD, Susan Stanton (former city manager), and Cara Jennings (on far right).

The surprising turnaround. . .

The very same former commissioners from that prior administration who closed the pool in 2010 all of sudden in 2015 were no longer concerned the pool complex was losing money to the tune of $123,000 that fiscal year. It was now an ‘amenity’ that must remain open no matter what the burden or shortfalls in City budgets.

Here are the numbers to keep the pool
open three years ago:
Then came the cry, “Just increase the pool hours to make up the shortfall!” But with every increase in hours comes with it an increase in cost. The shortfalls don’t go away because of additional hours open.

If we are to conclude that a pool at the Beach is a precious amenity that must remain open then why did a previous administration close it? Looking out to future City budgets if the pool was losing $300,000 or $500,000 every year who would be tasked with footing the bill? Would the nearby well-heeled residents in the Town of Palm Beach help with the shortfalls funding this ‘precious amenity’?

The point here is the pool was ignored as an amenity for many years even though its value was used to compute the percentage of the ‘renovation’ to the Casino building. But the so-called renovation wasn’t a renovation at all. It was new construction. The pool was just the distraction.

The IG had a thing or two to say
about that back in 2011.

Click on image to enlarge:

So. Still think constructing a new pool
at the Beach is a good idea?