Jul 13, 2010 8:16 PM by John Romero
On a hot summer day, a neighborhood swimming pool is about as good as it gets. Last year the city of Colorado Springs was close to closing all of them because of massive budget problems. "The overall aquatics budget was approximately $2 million dollars for all of the pools." explains Kim King, Colorado Springs Parks Administration Manager, "We were looking in revenue at getting back about $1 million."
Colorado Springs Swim School owner Kevin Dessart and his wife were horrified when they heard the news of pools closing. "We heard all of the city pools were closing so my wife and I looked at each other and said we can't let that happen." he says. The city formed a partnership with the Swim School to keep both the Portal Pool and Wilson Ranch outdoor pools open along with the Aquatic and Fitness Center. "The city owns the facilities." explains Dessart, "We run everything within the four walls of the fence lines."
They share revenue which takes some load off of the cities budget and allows the public to cool off during the hot summer months. "Having the ability to have them take over the properties, the management, being able to pay for the utilities, the chemicals and the staffing has been huge for us." says King, "It has relieved the general fund which was part of the process to begin with."
The city still completely runs the Cottonwood Creek indoor pool. As for re-opening the others, the city says they are looking at making proposals to other business to open up some of the other pools next year, just as they did with the Colorado Springs swim school. CLICK HERE for hours, directions and general information on the Portal Pool, Wilson Ranch Community Pool and the Aquatic and Fitness Center. CLICK HERE for hours, directions and general information on the Cottonwood Creek indoor pool.