LEWISBURG — While the Valley feels the chill of autumn, the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority has its mind on next summer, specifically the costs of maintaining the Lewisburg Community Pool and how to keep it from dinging the organization’s financial future.
The group hoped to put savings into the bank this fiscal year, but the pool had equipment failures, such as a faulty valve and leaks, Jim Mathias, board chairman of the recreation authority, said at the East Buffalo Township meeting Monday.
The authority oversees the pool and other recreation outlets in the borough and East Buffalo Township.
As a result, BVRA broke even on its $674,125 budget this year.
The pool’s challenges aren’t over, said Katie Davis, the authority’s executive director, and the group is evaluating the operating system and structures to see what else is needed.
“We’re right about at the 10-year mark where a lot of things need attention,” she said of the pool.
Two pumps had issues, she said, to the tune of $8,000 a piece. There are several pumps at the facility for the main pool, the baby pool and water features.
Mathias said it’s been about 12 years since any whole-scale upgrades were done, and he’d like to address the pool’s issues under a contract all at once instead of the piecemeal work that’s been done.
“We’re looking at the pool and really assessing everything it requires, all systems and equipment,” Mathias said. He does not have a dollar figure yet on needed repairs.
The recreation authority’s debt is just under $200,000, stemming from a 2006 PennVest loan for stormwater management in the park at St. Mary Street. It pays about $20,000 per year on the loan.
The pool itself does make money and was close to breaking even this year, Davis said, until the repairs were needed. Operationally, though, it does make a profit.
The pool, however, will indeed open in 2015, Davis said. In fact, “We’re getting ready to put out for Christmas specials” such as buying pool passes early. Prices and operating hours are getting restructured, “the whole pool is getting a pretty big overhaul, not just equipment,” she said, “and, we think, for the better.”
Desiree Ramirez is the pool and events manager, a full-time, year-round position that has helped in managing the pool’s affairs and staying on top of the repair jobs.
The Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority has been the primary money source to keep the pool and facilities up and running, Mathias said. The borough and township come in and helped financially when needed.
Lewisburg has provided more resources to the pool given it’s in borough limits, Mathias said.