|In 2010, the City of Mankato entered into an agreement with the Mankato YMCA to manage and operate the city’s municipal pool in Tourtellotte Park. The Mankato YMCA oversees all operations of the pool including staffing for swim lessons, open swim hours, concessions, special events, marketing and daily maintenance. The YMCA also operates the concession stand and collects 100% of the revenue. The original agreement did not include any clauses for annual increases.
From 2010 to 2013, the city paid the YMCA a base operating amount of $77,000 to manage and operate the pool. During those four years, the YMCA kept operating cost to a minimum by absorbing administrative expenses, lifeguard training and communications. However, in 2014, the YMCA did request a 2% increase, $1,540 to assist with rising expenses and the Council approved the request, which brought the total operating amount to $78,540.
In 2015, the YMCA staff met with city staff to request an increase in the base operating amount from $78,540 to $99,000 ($20,460). The reason for the increase was that YMCA was having difficulty keeping lifeguards, water safety instructors and pool managers because its wages are not competitive with other employers in town. The YMCA spends a considerable amount of its resources training and certifying lifeguards and pool managers only to lose them to other employers who pay more. Additionally, the minimum wage saw an increase over the previous two summers that went unaccounted for.
In 2017, the Council approved opening the pool one additional evening per week at the request of the Tourtellotte Park neighborhood; at the time the pool was only open on Wednesday evenings. Once approved, the evening days were changed to Tuesday and Thursday evenings since attendance was sporadic on Wednesday evenings due to many folks attending religious services. The additional evening of operations added $3,500 to the pool operating budget. This brought the 2018 pool operations budget to $114,668.40 and 2018 was the end of the existing in place agreement between the city and the YMCA.
The revised agreement with the YMCA would entail keeping the pool open for the full 54 hour per week schedule for all 97 days with no closings or curtailed hours. The YMCA has proposed to operate the pool in this fashion for $156,915 for the first year with a 2% increase in years two and three. In order to accomplish this, the pool operations budget over the three year period would have to be approximately $480,250 and all of it would be dedicated to the YMCA.
The city’s role in the agreement is to prepare the pool for summer opening and winterize it at closing, pay for all capital improvements and repairs, cover utility costs, and assist in the marketing of the facility and annually, the Council establishes the fee schedule for daily admissions, pool passes, rentals and swim lessons at Tourtellotte Pool.
Staff is recommending that the Council authorize the City Manager to enter into agreement with the YMCA for the 2019-2021 seasons for the base amount of $123,086.00 for each year with a 2.0% increase in two and year three (2020 & 2021). The services that the YMCA provides at the Tourtellotte pool are truly an asset and ultimately provide a savings to the city while providing a higher level of service than could be provided by staff.