The Le Sueur Community Center pool will likely not be reopening until 2022, Le Sueur city staff reported during the Monday, Nov. 9 meeting of the Le Sueur City Council.
The center was closed on March 16 due to COVID-19 restrictions and reopened to limited services in September.
Staff were anticipating a revenue decrease of about 50 percent from last year by the end of 2020, and so far that prediction is on track to come true.
The record keeping, metrics tracking, and membership types have changed since 2019, so the only comparisons that staff feels comfortable drawing are the fitness room and Silver Package (Silver Sneakers, Silver 7 Fit, and Silver Prime members) for the purpose of this discussion.
Right now, the plan is to keep the indoor pool closed through 2021 while staff prepares a plan to reopen in 2022.
Driving this decision is the fact that the 2019 cost analysis revealed pool revenues only cover 16.7 percent of the pool operating costs, with tax dollars covering the remaining 83.7 percent.
The city council is aiming to keep the existing tax levy, and reopening the pool would require a 5 percent increase, which would equate to $6.25 per month on the average home, valued at $206,000.
Various council members questioned Recreation Director Allison Watkins about incentive and discount plans. Watkins assured the group that the previous loopholes that allowed a subscriber to have more than one discount was fixed with the new software.
The ice arena is up and running for youth hockey and so far all the cleaning requirements have exceeded expectations. This allowed the locker rooms to be opened and the formation of an adult hockey league is planned for December or January.
Watkins also reported that the wrestling association is now renting the gym for three nights a week for practices — this is a new rental.
The basketball association has inquired about a gym rental for two nights a week. Staff is reaching out to many groups trying to generate more business.
More details will be available at the budget presentation on Nov. 23, and the Truth in Taxation meeting on Dec. 14 will allow for public questions and comments.