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Commissioners to meet over future of Plaza Pool

Submitted by Phil Heimerl on December 5, 2018 – 12:54 amNo Comment
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It is no secret Plaza Pool has been draining dollars from Alpena County’s general fund budget over the years.

Commissioners last week, agreed to move another $15,000 into the pool’s budget so it won’t show a shortfall in 2018, which would require the county to submit a deficit reduction plan to the State of Michigan.

County commissioner Cam Habermehl doesn’t believe the problem lies with the 3rd party management company hired to manage the pool.  Conversely, he believes that company is doing “a good job.”   He says it’s simple – the cost to operate a pool is expensive and if the number of users isn’t growing then fees need to be increased.  Higher fees alone, however, likely won’t fix the problem.

A third option would be for the county to continue to supplement the pool on an annual basis and absorb the loss.  However it appears a growing number of commissioners do not favor that option.

In fact, commissioner Brad McRoberts called for a meeting last week, between the county, the pool management company and Friends of Plaza Pool, a support group.  “We can’t continue to do this,” McRoberts said about supplementing the pool’s budget.

That meeting is expected to be held in the near future.

Taxpayers not only help fund the pool through taxes, but also through the Youth and Recreation millage.  The county received over $90,000 for the pool through that millage this year; and Friends of Plaza Pool received another approximately $3,400.

That millage has been supplementing pool operations from day one, and in fact, was the main reason the county came up with the idea for that millage in the first place.

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