WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) – West Carrollton’s city pool will not open this summer. City leaders said the decision was not taken lightly, but was made for safety and financial reasons.
Brad Townsend, West Carrollton’s City Manager, anticipates the city will lose 20 percent of income tax revenue this year. So he said closing Wilson Park Pool for 2020 is just one of the financial cuts they’re having to make.
Townsend said closing Wilson Park Pool this year will save the city $60,000. He said he knows the pool is very popular with the residents, but it was financially necessary.
“Other communities may have other sources of revenue for their pool, but ours is income tax that our businesses and our residents pay,” said Townsend.
During the shutdown, Townsend said the city lost $536,000 dollars in income tax revenue. He forecasts a total loss of at least $1,100,000 this year.
“We’re trying to avoid having to make cuts in basic services that we provide, police, fire, utilities,” said Townsend. “That’s what our residents really count on us to do and I think all communities are in the same boat right now.”
He said in a press release that the decision to close the pool was also for safety reasons. In order to open Wilson Park Pool and meet all the Ohio Department of Health’s mandatory operating guidelines, as well as the requirement to maintain social distancing and additional sanitizing practices indefinitely, they would have to increase the general operating cost of the pool.
He said when paired with the already noticeable deficit in the city’s revenue, it just was not feasible to open the pool for the 2020 season.
He added in addition to the pool closure, they’re making financial cuts across all departments. This is helping offset the current deficit by 25 percent, or $180,000.
“We’re not filling vacant positions including one police officers position,” said Townsend. “We’re not hiring any seasonal employees this year, and we’re restricting employee training and travel to in-state to try and save money.”
Townsend said since the pool will be closed, city staff are trying to devise safe activities for kids and families to enjoy during the summer, and said more details would be forthcoming.