Forest Park pool has been drain on Everett budget too long

In the June 18 Herald story, “YMCA, some school pools reopening this week,” the continuing closure of Forest Park Swim Center is mentioned. The article states, “The pool is a casualty of $3.4 million in emergency budget reductions approved in April.”

Rumor has it the Forest Park pool may never reopen. The fact is the City of Everett’s past and present mayor and council, have enabled the subsidy spent to operate the pool to grow out of control. In fact the subsidy has grown so large it is a major drain on the budget and that is why the pool is being shut down and may never reopen. Year after year the subsidy has grown. Instead of developing programs that generate revenue the park administration has run the same programs it has for decades. In the past year the subsidy has been around $600,000. In the past four years $2 million. The growth of the subsidy would have most likely continued because of the loss of revenue due to the opening of the YMCA.

Why has the city administration allowed such runaway expenses? My opinion, no one in the mayor’s office or the city council have any knowledge on how to properly manage a pool. As the subsidies grew it was easier just to write the checks.

To blame the closure of the pool as a service that wasn’t allowed during the ‘Stay Home, Stay Healthy’ is not true. The pool is being closed because spending is out of control and began years and years ago. If not this year or the next the increased pool subsidies may have forced the closure of the pool anyway.

Steven Lay


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