WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Fort Madison Hires YMCA to Manage Pool

Feb 22, 2018

Fort Madison is turning over management of its outdoor swimming pool to the Fort Madison YMCA. The city council signed off on the one-year contract this week.

City Manager David Varley said, per the agreement, the YMCA will operate the swimming pool from May 1, 2018 through September 3, 2018. It will be in charge of all operational expenses such as staffing, daily cleaning, and most utilities.

Varley said the city's responsibilities will include: 

  • Paying the YMCA a $20,000 management fee
  • Allowing the YMCA to manage the concession stand with all profits going to the YMCA
  • Paying for any capital expenses during the 2018 pool season
  • Covering any operating deficit up to $34,000

“The YMCA is in the recreation business,” said Varley. “We’re more in the parks business and we just think it would make sense for the recreation experts to run the swimming pool when they already have one and for us to spend our time where our expertise lies: taking care of the parks.”

Varley said the same contract was discussed last year, but could not be finalized prior to the start of the 2017 pool season. He said a one year deal allows each side to decide what worked and what did not in the first year.

Varley said if the pool runs a deficit of less than $34,000, the YMCA will receive a portion of the savings as an incentive for more efficient operations.

“For example, if the deficit at the end of the season is $31,000, then the city will pay the manager 25% of $4,000, which is $1,000,” per the agreement.

The YMCA will have to maintain the current admission fees for the pool and keep the facility open at least the same number of hours per day it is currently open. It will have the opportunity to extend hours of operation and add special events at night or on weekends.

The agreement is not new to the region as the Burlington YMCA manages the West Burlington City Pool and the city of Macomb hired the YMCA of McDonough County to manage the city pool for this year.