After nearly being closed due to lack of funding, use at Shadow Mountain Clubhouse has increased.
Moffat County Commissioner Darryl Steele attributes that increase in use to the heightened attention the pool has received in the community, after the commissioner board announced the county did not have the money to keep the facility open.
Penny Doolin, Shadow Mountain Clubhouse manager, said two new swimnastics classes have started at the pool. Kayakers have begun using the pool to practice their rolls. Pres Askew, who is starting a Boys and Girls Club in Craig, has approached her about using the pool for his club.
Doolin couldn't provide figures on this year's use during a phone interview on Saturday, because she did not have the numbers at home. But even though the commissioner board increased user fees by more than 50 percent this year, Doolin said community feedback has been positive.
"They knew they had such an extremely good deal for such a long time," Doolin said. "Everyone knows it has to be paid for and it's still extremely reasonable."
The commissioner board has projected it will cost $108,000 to keep the clubhouse open in 2004. The fee increase should account for half the operating expenses. That, combined with projected revenue based on historical use of the pool, leaves $27,500 in operating expenses unbudgeted.
Steele has been spearheading the effort to keep the pool open. He has approached the Craig City Council and the Moffat County School Board about contributing to the pool budget, and both entities have promised $5,000. Rehabilitation Services of Craig has pledged $2,500, and Steele said The Memorial Hospital Board would also likely contribute funds. He said he has plans to approach other organizations for funding.
"We are still recruiting dollars," Steele said.
The goal is to zero-out the county's costs, he said.
He stressed that this is a one-year funding plan that will need to be evaluated again in 2005. However, the commissioner board has been optimistic about 2004's budget situation, saying they expect to end the year with a better ending fund balance than 2003.
"If income is still down, we'll have to take a hard look at it again," Steele said.
Rob Gebhart can be reached at 824-7031 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.