Bloomfield pool treading water

There are 36 comments on the Farmington Daily Times story from Jun 29, 2011, titled Bloomfield pool treading water. In it, Farmington Daily Times reports that:

"Closed until further notice," may be the new slogan for the Bloomfield Family Aquatic Center as the pool continues to lose money.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Farmington Daily Times.

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OpenPool

Albuquerque, NM

#1 Jun 30, 2011
Obviously the pool has great attendance and should be kept open at the lowest fees possible.
This is unlike Farmington's Pinon Hills Golf Course where the City Manager, Rob Mayes, provides charity to Doctors and Lawyers on the taxpayers dime - losses approaching $600,000 for the year.

Since: Dec 10

Rio Rancho, NM

#2 Jun 30, 2011
OpenPool wrote:
Obviously the pool has great attendance and should be kept open at the lowest fees possible.
This is unlike Farmington's Pinon Hills Golf Course where the City Manager, Rob Mayes, provides charity to Doctors and Lawyers on the taxpayers dime - losses approaching $600,000 for the year.
Can you show ne where the "obviously the pool has great attendance" comes from. If they had "great attendance" the pools existence wouldn't be an issue.

"Great attendance" would be a function of number of people vs. price paid. e.g. McDonalds would sell a thousand Big Macs a day if they were $1; but wouldn't sell any if they were $100.

It's an easy calculation to see if the pool; is financially viable and it seems as if it isn't. Heck it sounds as if they are having staffing/scheduling issues too which is more of a management issue. So to me it looks as if they have a pool that not only loses money; but they lose even more money due to management problems. Hmmm.... sounds like a typically result when government enters business.
Economics

Cedar Crest, NM

#3 Jun 30, 2011
Okay, if the pool is losing money and yet he attendance is okay. Have they heard of raising the prices, maybe they need to cut some overhead as well. I'm sorry, but the municipalities in this area are really starting to annoy me with "We don't make enough money." Obviously at one time they did since they have been here for a while so what is changing it now? Get your act together do a P&L and look at where your problems are. If you need to charge more than $2 then do so people are not going to cry if they have to pay $3.50 or something. Don't go extravagant and try to charge $10 though then you will deffinately be going out, quick, fast, and in a hurry.

Since: Sep 08

Location hidden

#4 Jun 30, 2011
give the pool back to Bloomfield Schools!
Moses

Brooklyn, NY

#5 Jun 30, 2011
Maybe some of your Baptist friends could raise some money and donate to the kids of Bloomfield. You know, do some good in the community rather than pick fights.

You could even have Kevin Mauzy walk across the water on the half hour throughout the day..........
Local

Farmington, NM

#6 Jun 30, 2011
Economics wrote:
Okay, if the pool is losing money and yet he attendance is okay. Have they heard of raising the prices, maybe they need to cut some overhead as well. I'm sorry, but the municipalities in this area are really starting to annoy me with "We don't make enough money." Obviously at one time they did since they have been here for a while so what is changing it now? Get your act together do a P&L and look at where your problems are. If you need to charge more than $2 then do so people are not going to cry if they have to pay $3.50 or something. Don't go extravagant and try to charge $10 though then you will deffinately be going out, quick, fast, and in a hurry.
Pools will never pay their own way, just like soccer fields and baseball diamonds and tennis courts. Can you imagine the uproar if the City of Farmington were to charge the kids and parents who use those facilities enough money to cover the full cost of operating them? It would cost each Connie Mack player thousands.

Since: Sep 10

Location hidden

#10 Jun 30, 2011
Obviously, quantity is not an option with the City of Bloomfield... if they would realize that charging $2 brings in more customers, then they would make more profit charging that on all days. Request volunteers then if staffing is low. Offer swimming classes to gain additional profit - this pool has many options available.
Personally, I found it ridiculous to charge $5 for adults, thats insane! especially if you want to go every day. You might as well have a starbucks stand right adjacent to the pool. Think about it. Above, Native had a great idea - give it back to the Bloomfield Schools, they obviously have enough money for all their other facilities new and old.
pool mama

Farmington, NM

#14 Jun 30, 2011
I just found out the pool was open on sundays yesterday, the website tells everyone the pool is closed, so we never went!

Since: Dec 10

Farmington, NM

#15 Jun 30, 2011
Local wrote:
<quoted text>
Pools will never pay their own way, just like soccer fields and baseball diamonds and tennis courts. Can you imagine the uproar if the City of Farmington were to charge the kids and parents who use those facilities enough money to cover the full cost of operating them? It would cost each Connie Mack player thousands.
I don't get why the users should't pay the cost. I grew up playing ice hockey and we (players/users) always paid for the cost of the ice time/leagues/etc.

When (and who) created them under the guise that the shouldn't pay for themselves. That's horrendous community management?
hmmmmm

United States

#16 Jun 30, 2011
They can't afford to keep the pool open becuase they need the money to pay the legal fees for Kevin Mauzy and his mounument. That's smart thinking to get the city into a legal mess they can't afford and could have avoided. What a bunch of idiots.
Another thought

Las Cruces, NM

#17 Jun 30, 2011
My kids love the Bloomfield pool. Maybe if we stopped paying the Bloomfield Fire Volunteers (Is it $20 a call now?) there would be more money. They seem to figure out how to write grants to get big expensive new toys they want (Isn't one of their paid guys really just a full-time grant writer...not sure on that one, maybe DT should check it out). And I wonder if they still pay the volunteers who try not to make a truck to "BS calls" just to show up at the station and say they responded. Don't get me wrong, I think that volunteers should enjoy some perks (before the forum is flooded with people who say it's not an easy job I did fire service for a decade)Sorry to be so down on BFD, but in my opinion there has been gross misuse of funds for a LONG time. Again, that is only an opinion from the outside looking in.
Pool doesnt equal profit

Grand Junction, CO

#18 Jun 30, 2011
The Pool was never meant to be a money maker. Small pools the size of the one in Bloomfield and Farmington don't make money. It takes a larger operation (Water Park) to usually turn a profit. Pools are a Quality of life item.
For example why doesn't the Police and fire turn a profit? They don't. They are needed services. Now the Pool isn't "needed" but it is provided to the citizens as a benefit.
Also the City looks more attractive as a tourist (not that it really attracts them) spot and a future home. So in turn it helps entice citizens to move and stay here.
Whomovedmybowels - Yeah the management with problems is the City Manager/Council. When a pool tells you they are losing money do you open it another day to lose more money another day. This without contacting the guy that runs the pool. If they had spoken to him about this change then he wouldn't have had to come to a council meeting to till them to stop pouring money down the drain. He is trying to limit the money the pool is losing. Good job Steve. Shame on the council, mayor and city council for not using the managers and directors they put in place and consulting with them beforehand. Guess you don't need them if you don't listen or ask them questions.
Economics - The pools attendance isn't that great except for the summer and the best day is Wednesday when the prices are $2 for everyone. Otherwise for adults it is $3 more on other days. An increase on this day would most likely result in a drop in patronage. Go to their fees & hours page to see their breakdown.
Also you are right they do complain about not making enough money but you are wrong in that yes they had the money before but Gross Receipts and other tax revenues have dropped greatly. So they are trying to do the same job with less. I agree that needs to change.
N8tive-Yeah since the schools are making so much more money. They are also dealing with deficits compared to previous years.
Local - Got that right
Expressive Nature - You didn't read the whole article. Yes it's their busiest day but they take in less money(less means less than other days). Here read this paragraph:
"On Wednesday, we have our busiest crowds," Gromack said. "We take in less money because admission is $2. We have to have a lot of staff on Wednesday because of the large crowd."
So charging $2 all the days may mean more patronage but even less money than they are getting now. Volunteers would be nice but look at the fire dept they are having problems with staffing so if you had to rely on volunteers there would be days when you wouldn't be able to open certain sections if you got volunteers. Sorry volunteers isn't going to float. The Swimming classes would be nice, but I am guessing would require paying an instructor money. Although doing a survey about this would help. None-the-less this pool will never "make" money but can make less if the Pool Manager was listened to.
Also once again you need to do your research, yes it is $5 for one day for an adult but if you are going to go every day you would get a One year pass for $200 which would result in way less a day than $5. Read.
Bottom line - Pool will always lose money. Just reduce the amount it loses. Close it on the slow days since having it open requires having staff, running pumps and electricity. Listen to your managers and directors
Just Wondering

Santa Fe, NM

#19 Jun 30, 2011
It sounds to me like the problem is in the Pool Director that has such a negative attitude. Perhaps if he we doing his job properly and promoting the pool, offering exercise classes, and special activities there would be more use. However, it sounds like if they are having 1,000 people a day using the pool the pool is definitely being used and an asset to the community. I have family members that use the pool and sometimes go twice a day. Maybe they need to replace the Pool Director that believes in what he is doing.
Just Wondering

Santa Fe, NM

#20 Jun 30, 2011
Whoops - last sentence should have been "Maye they need to replace the Pool Director with one that believes in what he is doing." Got in a hurry.
Reader

Farmington, NM

#23 Jun 30, 2011
Aren't there insurance & liability issues that require a certain staffing level for the pool?

Imagine the uproar if the city cut back on paid lifeguards, or used "volunteers" and some kid drowned.

Agree completely that any money spent trying to defend the indefensible ("Mauzy's Monolith") is a stupid waste.
Orchardmom

Santa Fe, NM

#25 Jun 30, 2011
It seems to me like it takes such and such a number of people to run the pool whether there are 5 people or 50 people. If they have over a thousand on Wednesday when the cost is $2.00 versus $5.00 for adults on other days, why not charge $4.00 for adults on other days or $3.50 and maybe they would have more adults there using the facilities and end up making more money. Also, why not do promotions maybe like bring an item for Echo Food Bank and get $1.00 off admission; or a book for the library and get $1.00 off, or something to that effect; one adult full price and 2nd adult 1/2 price; wear a funny hat and get $1.00 off admission. There are lots of ways they could drum up business if the director was really interested in doing it.

The pool is an asset to the community and should remain open at all costs. Kids with nothing to do get into trouble and swimming is great exercise for everyone.

Since: Dec 10

Rio Rancho, NM

#26 Jun 30, 2011
Orchardmom wrote:
... The pool is an asset to the community and should remain open at all costs. Kids with nothing to do get into trouble and swimming is great exercise for everyone.
"at all costs" would include the community deciding it wants to pay for it out of their tax base and making it free to all.

How much are you willing to pay per year to keep it open?

Since I don't want to pay to keep it open, are you willing to pay my share?
startatthetop

Grand Junction, CO

#27 Jun 30, 2011
Pool Director ? Really! Just give the maintaince man a raise and you got a new director... gee. Or give Bloomfield lots of money and it will trickle down?
Orchardmom

Santa Fe, NM

#28 Jun 30, 2011
whomovedmybowels wrote:
<quoted text>
"at all costs" would include the community deciding it wants to pay for it out of their tax base and making it free to all.
How much are you willing to pay per year to keep it open?
Since I don't want to pay to keep it open, are you willing to pay my share?
Who said anything about making it free for all? There are certainly things that can be done to keep it open and no one has said anything about making it free. By your logic f I didn't want to support the Boys & Girls Clubs or Connie Mack or Soccer or parks or trails are you suggesting they should are you willing to pay my share?

Since: Dec 10

Rio Rancho, NM

#30 Jun 30, 2011
Orchardmom wrote:
<quoted text>
Who said anything about making it free for all? There are certainly things that can be done to keep it open and no one has said anything about making it free. By your logic f I didn't want to support the Boys & Girls Clubs or Connie Mack or Soccer or parks or trails are you suggesting they should are you willing to pay my share?
I think you grasped my point exactly.

I do not want to pay for a pool through my taxes. If users cannot generate enough revenue to pay for the pool then there is no pool. If users do not generate enough money to pay for Connie Mack, then no field.

We drove about 25 miles to play ice hockey when I was a youth. When I was about 14 or 15, our community figured out there was enough population/interest to justify building its own rink. The fees for hockey players/leagues, figure skating, etc. paid for the rink. Private charitable organizations (Lion's Club mostly in our community) organized the fund raising, construction, etc. of our local rinks/facilities and once they had achieved the goal of finishing construction, they'd turn the facility over to our town's local government for on-going management.

An equivalent of Boys and Girls Club would be run/managed by a Lion's Club, a church (or two or three) and so on. Tax payers were not footing the bill. Provate donations, charitable organizations, churches, etc. used their funds/fund raising capabilities to create/build such projects.

People wanting too much from our government is very similar to people wanting to out live their income. It's a big reason why our various forms of governments are in such terrible financial trouble.

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