Area pools see another plunge

MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) — The brief end-of-summer warmup came too late to help area pools much.

Most like the Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center in Miamisburg are already closed after a season in which about a third of the 90 days they were scheduled to open saw either low temperatures or rain.

“It was challenging for people to get into a routine to have an aquatic center as part of the normal day to day plan,” says Debbie McLaughlin, Miamisburg Parks and Recreation Director.

That led to a plunge in attendance for the second straight year at the Sycamore Trails Aquatic Center.

It dropped from 59,429 in 2012 to 53,931 in 2013 to 46,185 this year.

“Truly the weather is that big of an impact,” McLaughlin says. “The facility is a high quality facility in our community and we’ve done great to keep it at an operational high amenity. The weather is the challenge.”

2 NEWS found the attendence drop is costing taxpayers thousands of dollars.

Revenue isn’t finalized yet for this year, but right now it’s about $70,000 less than 2012’s figure, when summer was hotter and drier.

McLaughlin says they’re trying to make up those losses in other areas.

“We have done some upgrades to control energy and chemical costs to keep that lower,” McLaughlin says.

But even in a good year the pool doesn’t pay for itself, running a deficit of at least $150,000.

We asked if the pool is worth the investment.

“Our city council does prize the facility as a community amenity,” McLaughlin says. “It is a quality of life amenity for our residents to enjoy.”

Another problem for area pools is that school start dates have been moved up in many districts.

It was especially an issue this year when many of the hot days didn’t happen until school was already open in August.

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