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yesqcy - City/Firefighters labor contract must be voted on again - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Very true, everyone has to have a first time. But what about the city attorney and the rest of the council? Nobody?
Mizzougrad - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Your right, the pensions that the city chose to underfund for years because they could, and now it's all our fault. For someone in business, don't understand how you do not understand the concept that you close a station, you don't just reassign the firefighters, because then there are no savings. You close a station because you want to lower the number of firefighters, period. You know…
topdown - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Once again, I will ask you: Do you understand business at all? The City can't print money. The police and fire pensions have thrown the entire system so far out of whack that the City can't make "want to" decisions; it is a "have to" situation. You can cry the blues all you want about the poor, poor firefighters, but their greed over the years has contributed greatly to this mess, so what…
topdown - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
I haven't read a single comment about laying off firefighters, except, perhaps, from your Chief. You are paid, and paid very well, to do a job. If you don't like it, quit. People will line up to take your spot. No one is complaining about the services you provide. The problem is cost. Why is it so hard to understand that the City coffers are not a bottomless pit? Your pensions have…
topdown - Quincy City Budget hearings and Council meeting - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Your condescending attitude is just plain insulting. Thousands and thousands of small business owners have suffered in this economy over the past decade or so. Should we all "reinvent" ourselves? What an idiotic statement! It is patently obvious to me from the comments you have made in different discussions that you have lived a life of privilege and have never given an honest day's work in…

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Losses have Park District rethinking pool's future

Losses have Park District rethinking pool's future

1 year, 6 months ago by Jamie Busen

Wavering Aquatic Center has lost $55,000 over the last two years

Quincy Park District officials are calling the latest summer swimming season a gamechanger regarding the future of Wavering Aquatic Center.

This year, Wavering lost $35,102 as attendance dropped by about 5,000. Last year, the pool lost more than $20,000.

During Wednesday night's Board meeting, Commissioners decided to hold off on including money for engineering work in the new fiscal year budget which begins in January. At their August retreat meeting, the Board had planned to insert $65,000 to cover - or at least start - the design work for a new pool.

But Park Board President John Frankenhoff said the season figures show that "we need to re-evaluate our position and our plans. There are things in Quincy that have changed."

Those changes include more options for would-be swimmers. The Kroc Center had its first full summer season, and Sheridan Swim Club went through major renovations and "aggressively sought people to come to their facility," said Frankenoff, who said it’s understandable those groups would market their facilities.

"The general position of the Park District is, we don't want to compete with other facilities here in town, that's not generally what we do," he said. "Our idea is, we want to provide recreational activities. If other people are doing that, we can step back and focus on other areas. If that means we would only operate one pool down the road as Wavering reaches its end of life, so be it. I don't think that's a bad thing, so long as the community’s needs are being met."

The Salvation Army's Major Dan Jennings said: "The Kroc Center has added more choices for Quincy and the surrounding community. We are one of only a couple of dozen communities to receive the opportunity to receive such an unprecedented facility.

There will, obviously, be some overlap of activities and programs in our community that will be offered at the Kroc Center and other organizations. However at the end of the day, the positives that the Kroc Center brings far outweigh any challenges that arise from its being opened in Quincy. We are hopeful that the Park District pools will continue to thrive and that our community will be able to enjoy them for many years to come. We are also hopeful that people will continue to enjoy the programs and venues at the Kroc Center."

Frankenhoff said the Board will wait another year to initiate design work for Wavering and have another summer to evaluate the numbers of people coming to the pool. He expects a decision will be made next fall.

"I think it was a good idea to delay spending that money until we know more," he said. "The whole picture of Quincy has changed and we can't ignore that."

Repairs at Wavering - which is more than 32 years old - are becoming more frequent as equipment wears out.

"It's going to get to a certain point that it's not going to be feasible to repair it," Frankenhoff said. "That could be two more summers, it could be five more summers. It's hard to predict - but at a certain point, why put a lot of money into a facility ... tax payers shouldn't have to support it if it's losing a lot of money."

Most years, the pools don't break even. In 2009, WAC lost $11,500. The following year, that number was less than $200. But the loss is rising. Combined with Indian Mounds, the two lost more than $63,000 - that's more than $25,000 higher than the previous year.

"We'd always accepted that as the nature of the situation ... most of our programs and facilities do that. We don't make money at our facilities," Frankenhoff said. "But when the amount we are losing starts to increase, now that changes the picture."

Taxpayers make up that difference and a small loss, Frankenhoff said, is expected and acceptable. But there comes a point where the cost is just too high.

"That's why we are re-evaluating," he said.

Options could include closing Wavering and focusing on more improvements/additions to Indian Mounds Pool.

Park District Executive Director Ed Seger said they've discovered the District's pools right now are "in a state of flux." He said next year, they would aggressively market the District pools and make changes such as offering special passes or 2 for 1 days.

"We are going to try to market the pools and make it the best year we can possibly have," Seger said. "We need to know if we are stable, to see whether we can increase or if this is as good as it's ever going to get."


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