October 14, 2009 5:08 PM
The season is over, and all the numbers are in. For the first time, the Goodman Pool has broken even.
When Madison built its first municipal swimming pool a few years ago the Common Council passed a resolution calling for the pool to break even financially. I have to admit that I was skeptical. Very few pubic pools operate without a subsidy, and I believed that the pool is a public benefit that we should operate even if there needs to be some tax support.
But we kept at it, and every year we got a little closer. I have to credit Parks Superintendant Kevin Briski for making some hard choices to make this happen. Kevin determined that we didn't need a full time, year round pool manager and made the tough decision to eliminate the position. That and other cost-saving measures plus stronger marketing resulted in the good news we have today.
And here's the thing. It wasn't even a particularly good year for pools. June was beautiful, but July was the coldest on record and August was so-so. With no break from the weatherman, the pool today still swims in no red ink. Credit that to some determination and a lot of good management.