MOUNT VERNON — Hiawatha Water Park and Pool enjoyed a strong summer in 2023.
“I felt like we had a really great year,” Fred Inter, general manager of Columbus Pool Management Company, said at this week’ Mount Vernon City Council meeting.
Noting his company only became involved toward the end of May, Inter said,“ As the season went on, I felt like we gained a nicer rapport with the team and with the community.”
He noted there was a learning curve in concessions with the technology, but the process became streamlined as the season went on. Inter feels that concessions is a potential area for savings in the future.
On the financial side, Auditor Terry Scott said that overall, he thought operations went well.
“Even though we did not change the rates, we still did well,” he said. “We had $20,000 higher than what I estimated in concessions.
“Regarding membership and walk-ins, we did $30,000 higher than what I estimated.”
Noting that revenue is typically fairly consistent from year to year, Scott said, “This was a real change.”
For expenses, he said a different structure was in place, but expenses were little bit higher than normal.
“I think we will be better able to measure that between 2023 and 2024,” he said.
The city, YMCA, and Mount Vernon School District joined forces earlier this year on a summer recreation program.
“The YMCA was able to increase the number of students who attended by six for all six weeks,” Council member Amber Keener said. “There has been a significant child care gap. I think this partnership with the YMCA really helped with that.”
The city has four more years of debt service on the water park. The city pays the debt through its general fund.