Elk Grove Aquatic Center reports larger than expected operating deficit

A report on Elk Grove's Aquatic Center operations shows the four-year-old facility is experiencing a larger-than-expected operating deficit. That report was prepared for Elk Grove Mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen and her four city councilmen. 

A centerpiece of the city's District56 facility, the Aquatics Center was budgeted for an operating loss of $758,200 for the fiscal year 2023, which ended June 30, 2023. However, the loss expanded to $1,097,662.

Several factors were cited for the larger-than-expected operating loss. Among them are the increase in minimum wage, numerous equipment failures, higher gas heating costs from PG&E, and "unmet CCSD revenue targets."

The CCSD - Cousmnes Community Sevices District - has operated the Aquatics Facility since its 2019 opening. Lana Yoshimura, the city's community event center manager., prepared the report.  

Of note, the relatively new facility experienced several failures and revenue shortfalls. The "CCSD replaced chemical pumps and backwash controllers, serviced the pool heaters, repaired a crack in the water slide, [and] updated the UV filter on the slide pool," and the "CCSD underperformed in its revenue projections by 15% or $108,909." 

Yoshimura stated, "Analysis of the current year's actual revenues and expenses is ongoing with City and CCSD staff meeting monthly to monitor the budget." On a positive note, Yoshimura added that the CCSD has met 50 percent of revenue projections halfway through the year and "higher revenue generating months of spring and summer not yet accounted for."

The table shows that the losses expanded 44 percent beyond budget projections. As a percentage, gas heating of pools grew by 103 percent.

Yoshimura will present the report to the mayor and city council at Wednesday's meeting. Councilman Darren Suen received a $3,000 campaign contribution from PG&E, while Singh-Allen and Councilman Rod Brewer each received $200.  

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

When the City Council gave the greenlight for the Aquatic Center, much was said about it being a venue for regional competitive swim meets and the associated economic benefits it would bring. One former Mayor even proclaimed that the facility could be host to Olympic swim trials! 

Four years later, a pattern of reality has set in. The Aquatic Center will be plagued with spiraling operating costs and structural deficits until it eventually turns into a skateboard park! It's projects like this and the similar Animal Shelter that cause me to be skeptical of any large-scale endeavor the City Council cooks up. 

Capt. Benjamin Willard said...

The problem with this type of community amenity is the high maintenance and operating costs.

If the city and CCSD were to charge users the cost to reach breakeven, it would make the price so high that is would not be affordable, especially for low income families. It then becomes a taxpayer funded country club.

On the other hand, if admission costs are subsidized by ongoing losses, it becomes a burden on taxpayers, and as the population ages, it becomes a white elephant that eventually closes only after sustaining mounting costs.

Of course when the city council approved this project at the behest of former Mayor Gary Davis, this never crossed their minds. They just wanted to say they built something to honor themselves.

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