Mayor Schmitt concerned about future operating costs of Colburn Pool

By  | 

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) -- Funding for Colburn Pool is once again front and center at Green Bay’s City Hall as the latest renovation bid puts the city $2 million short of the price tag.

Miron’s Construction bid came in at $5.6 million to redo the Olympic-size pool, bathhouse and concession stand, but that’s not the only concern over at city hall.

”You are looking at $500,000 in plans that went for nothing,” said Chris Wery, Green Bay City Council. “You'd be wasting a half a million dollars on nothing.”

After multiple failed attempts to renovate Coburn Pool over the years, Alderman Wery said the city has to do something with the latest bid, whether it’s more city funding or fundraising.

“We are going to handle it at the same time we do our bonding, which is our borrowing,” said Wery.

But coming up with more money to renovate the pool is only part of Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt’s concerns. He said he is more worried about future operating costs.

“They want this Olympic-sized pool for swim meets and they seem set on that. So if we are going to do it, we need to find a way to not lose a lot of money every year, but bring us as close to something manageable for the city,” said Mayor Schmitt.

At the parks committee meeting last week, the interim director said the city operates Colburn Pool with a net loss of roughly $89,000.

If the pool is renovated, it needs 2.5 times more visitors for the city not to lose any more money, but Wery said those numbers will likely change since they don't account for future events, like swim meets.

“Staff is reaching out to Appleton and Oshkosh because they host regional swim meets from multi-states to really get what that really brings in to the community and what you can charge people,” said Wery.

“There’s a lot of momentum for this pool right now and I think I can warm up to it, but we’ve got to address the long-term operating costs,” said Mayor Schmitt.

Wery said he plans to meet with Mayor Schmitt sometime next week to talk about the pool.

In the meantime, Interim Parks Director James Andersen said over the next few weeks, his staff will continue to crunch those operating numbers, including those future swim meets, so that the city has more accurate numbers to consider.