The Tenino City Council has bet on the community and budgeted more than $20,000 in assumed donations and operating revenue for the quarry pool in 2014.
Just how risky that bet is was up for debate at the council’s last meeting.
Those who favored the ordinance, which amended the budget, said some risk is worthwhile if it ensures a timely opening and long season for the Tenino Quarry Pool, which draws swimmers from throughout Thurston County and the region.
Councilmen Dave Watterson and Wayne Fournier said the budget amendments are based on conservative historical data.
According to Fournier, donations over the last five years have averaged $9,800 a year and money brought in from entrance fees has raised $11,000.
Fournier said the city has suffered decreased revenue in the past because the pool has been open fewer days, but still requires fixed cleaning and maintenance expenses.
“We need a budget that shows we’re committed to opening it,” he said.
Including anticipated revenue in the budget gives the community a concrete goal to work toward, Watterson added.
Councilman Frank Anderson, however, warned against making assumptions.
“Part of the problem with the 2010-11 budget was the unrealistic revenues that were anticipated,” Anderson said.
“There’s nothing to say it’s not going to be snowing on the Fourth of July and absolutely no one shows up,” Anderson said. “We’re not a business hoping to take a risk and get the money back. We’re here to protect the money of the citizens.”
Mayor Bret Brodersen, an accountant, also counseled caution.
“I think the council needs to realize, even if we budgeted, if those donations do not come in, there aren’t general fund dollars that can open the pool,” he said.
Brodersen said he has been working with a group of graduate students to develop a marketing strategy.
“They are students in a masters level class who wrote a complete marketing campaign,” Brodersen said.
Mary Evans, a park commissioner, said the park commission also is working to try to come up with a plan.