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Glenwood Pool Under New Management

Emily Boyer/Tri States Public Radio
Next summer the Y plans to have Glenwood Pool open from Memorial Day through Labor Day

The YMCA of McDonough County said it has big plans for Macomb's only public swimming pool when it takes over operations next summer. The city of Macomb will pay the YMCA a $3,000 annual management fee and cover the salaries for lifeguards working at Glenwood Pool. The Y will stock the snack bar and keep the money it makes.

The city has high expectations for the new partnership, predicting revenues will increase by 50%.

YMCA Executive Director Carla Teslicka said she thinks sales of season passes will go up. Y members will be given a discount on them. She said anyone who purchases a pass will be able to use the Y’s indoor pool in the event Glenwood Pool is closed for bad weather or equipment failure.

The indoor pool at the YMCA will be made available to Glenwood Pool season pass holders in the event of bad weather or mechanical failure. Although, Teslicka said the indoor pool also has to close if there's lightning.
Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer

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Last summer, Glenwood was available to the public for only 49 days due to opening late and problems with the pool’s filters, which required the pool to be drained and refilled, a process that took several hours. There had been a manufacturing delay with getting new filters, but the city said they have since been replaced.

Teslicka said the hope for next year is to be open consistently from Memorial Day through Labor Day, with a goal of about 129 days.

“We are not magicians and neither is the city. We cannot make something old be new. But we can certainly try our best to make sure our community has somewhere to go this next summer,” Teslicka said.

Teslicka said the Y will offer swim lessons for children and adult water aerobics classes at Glenwood Pool for an additional cost. She said they also plan to host movies and dances at the facility.

The city owns Glenwood Pool and handles all the maintenance work. Previously, the Macomb Park District had managed the facility for the city and split the costs to keep the pool up and running. But, the Park District ended the partnership this year citing concerns over growing costs and the pool’s age.  

City Administrator Dean Torreson estimates that the city and park district have split the cost of close to $100,000 in annual repairs at Glenwood Pool during the past decade. That averages out to about $10,000 a year and that repair cost is included in next year’s budget.

Overall, Torreson’s estimates show pool operations will cost the city about $13,000 more than it generate in revenue. “This is pretty reasonable. Pools generally do not pay for themselves in any city, anywhere. They just don’t. There’s some cost. It’s considered a service to the public and there’s some cost associated with it,” Torreson said.

Next year’s budget also includes $1,000 for advertising. Both the city and YMCA say they plan to do more advertising to make the public aware of Glenwood Pool and its offerings.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.