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Fitness Center profits up

By Staff | Nov 20, 2011

While working on portions of the 2012 budget at a work session last Monday, the Blue Earth City Council heard one piece of very good news.

One of their enterprise funds is showing some remarkable financial return – and it isn’t the liquor store.

The Faribault County Fitness Center is showing a net cash revenue of $40,000 for the current year.

According to the current year’s budget, the fitness center was expected to have revenues of $104,500 for the whole year.

“They are already at $111,264 at the end of October,” City Administrator Kathy Bailey notes. “Expenditures are at $65,000.”

Bailey and the fitness center director, Michele Hall, reported the good news to the council.

Bailey says the center has $101,000 cash in their fund at the current time.

Hall pointed out that the center’s board of directors is working on a plan to expand and improve the facility in 2012.

“We need to get the weight room to the main floor area,” Hall says. “Some potential clients are turned off by the stairs.”

Plus, she says, they need to improve the walking area. It is used year round, she notes, because it is inside and air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter.

Hall told the council she has no plans to change any of the rates from this year’s schedule.

The other facility Hall manages shows a loss, but then, the council expects the swimming pool to not be a revenue maker.

Next year’s budget shows expected expenditures at the pool to be $127,134, with nearly half the amount, $62,282, going to salaries and employees expenses.

The pool has revenues of $51,308 for entrance fees and $12,574 for the concession stand.

While council members expressed some concern about the cost, others agreed that no community pool makes money.

The council did offer some suggestions for curtailing expenses and for increasing revenue.

Councilman John Gartzke suggested cutting back on the hours, but Councilman Rick Scholtes responded that he hated to see a community asset shut down.

Hall says the pool is open from noon to 8 p.m. every day.

“Other pools are not open past 7 p.m.,” she says. “We do not have many using it that last hour on most days. We don’t have many over the noon hour, either.”

Hall says she may juggle around the swimming lessons times and the open swimming hours for next year.

She suggested that rates would stay the same next season.

The Senior Citizen Center was another section of the budget given a close look by the council at the work session.

Director Middy Thomas says the center has been exceptionally busy this past year.

“We had 1,107 seniors in there last month,” she says. “That is an average of 52 people each day.”

Thomas gave an update on all the many activities held at the center.

Plus she listed the capital improvements being made, including exterior painting and a new floor inside.

This year’s budget lists $8,000 for improvements, while the 2012 budget lists zero. Thomas says no capital expenditures are planned for next year.