Florence Family Aquatic Center

FLORENCE FAMILY AQUATIC CENTER

City seeks the community’s input.

The City of Florence and members of our City Council are committed to being good stewards of the community’s tax dollars and take great care to use those funds wisely.

Prompted in part by the pandemic’s closure of the Aquatic Center in 2020 and 2021, and by questions received about whether it will or should open again, Council looked very closely at the annual costs of maintaining and operating the Center. Based on their findings, Council made a preliminary recommendation to close the seasonal facility and replace it with a new community resource that would be available to all residents and visitors year-round. However, because the Aquatic Center is a valuable resource to those who use it, Council wants to gather community input to assess the public’s preferences before making any final decisions.

Factors to be considered include:

  • The Aquatic Center is the only municipal pool within 10 miles of its location. All other nearby pools are private and require annual memberships for access.
  • Between 300 and 400 children typically participate in swim lessons at the Aquatic Center each year.
  • The facility is home to the Florence Hammerheads swim and dive team. There are typically between 80-100 children on the team each year.
  • The City pays roughly $600,000 annually in pool operations, management, lifeguards, and other staffing. However, season passes and daily entrance fees cover less than half of these costs. Taxpayer funds have been subsidizing the loss which averages approximately $300,000 per year.
  • As the facility ages, increased tax dollars will be required for maintenance and up-keep.
  • The Aquatic Center is used just 10 – 12 weeks of the year. This equates to a cost of approximately $7,200 to $8,600 per day.
  • The average number of daily users ranges from 500 to 600, which represents approximately 2% of Florence’s population.

While considering these factors, City Council has also conducted some initial exploration into possible replacement options. One of the most attractive options is creating a new community park and event space, similar to Cincinnati’s Smale Park and Washington Park, and Summit Park in Blue Ash.

Admission-free and open year-round, a new park could include:

  • An adventure playground for children
  • Open and shaded space for recreation and relaxing
  • An interactive sprayground with pop-up jets for cooling off in warmer months
  • A performance stage
  • Event space for hosting community festivals, public classes, and seasonal events such as farmers markets, fall fests, ice skating, and garden shows

It could also include rentable areas that can be used to generate revenue.

AQUATIC CENTER SURVEY

Community preference will be an important consideration in the decision to be made.  As such, the City has released a survey to gather input from those who pay for the Aquatic Center – Florence taxpayers. The survey will be conducted between Aug. 23 and Sept. 24. Survey results will help Council determine how to best invest funds currently directed toward the facility.

SURVEY QUICK FACTS

  • The Aquatic Center surveys were sent out through U.S. mail the week of Aug. 23, 2021
  • Surveys were sent to all city residents and businesses who pay water bills in the City of Florence using the addresses they have on file with the City
  • Any taxpayer who does not receive a survey can come to the Florence Government Center at 8100 Ewing Blvd. to request a provisional copy
  • Completed surveys must be sent back to the City no later than Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, to be considered valid (a postage-paid return envelope was provided with each survey)
  • Survey results are scheduled to be shared at the Oct. 26 City Council meeting
  • Any questions related to completing the survey should be directed to the City of Florence Public Services Department at (859) 647-5416 or Eric.Hall@florence-ky.gov

 

Thank you for your interest and participation in this decision-making process.