Reduction in Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre Service Levels for 2021
UPDATE: ON NOV. 24/20, COUNCIL VOTED TO EXCLUDE THIS COST REDUCTION FROM THE 2021-2025 FIVE YEAR BUDGET, LEAVING THE BUDGET FOR WESTSYDE POOL AS-IS
PROPOSED COST REDUCTION STRATEGY
The Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre has over 25,000 visitors per year. Those visits represent a healthy and active lifestyle in addition to critical life skills such as learning how to swim. Use of the facility has increased significantly since the renovations in 2017 due to the increased hours of availability. The uncertainty and restrictions caused by the pandemic will likely lead to lower numbers in 2021. This proposal presents three options for the operation of the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre with varying impact on services and budget.
Option 1 Strategically reduce hours and modify programs while keeping the facility open year-round. Under this model, the facility would only be open during peak hours from 5:45 am to 9:15 am and 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm, during which time lessons and programs can be delivered uninterrupted.
Option 2 Close the venue for half of the year during the non-peak months of April through September. During these months, the weather is warmer and other recreation opportunities are available. Displaced full-time staff would be reassigned to other facilities, and the saving that are expected to materialize would be as a result of reduced facility operating costs and wages saved due to not needing to hire seasonal employees during the shutdown period. In this model, we would expect a greater than 50% reduction in use because people take time to adapt to new schedules and routine.
Option 3 Closure of the facility for all of 2021. This closure would occur once the Canada Games Aquatic Center (CGAC) reopens and moves into a steady state of operations after the recent upgrade/construction work is complete. The CGAC is expected to be complete in December, which would allow the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre to be closed effective January 1, 2021, and it is expected that the savings over the year would materialize. Displaced full-time staff would be reallocated to other venues within the City and a reduction in the need for seasonal staff will help to offset some of the costs.
COST SAVINGS: UP TO $639,000
These savings take into consideration increased costs compared to 2019 due to wage increases in the Collective Agreement. The savings are based on a comparison to 2019 costs.
$200,000 - generated through reduced labour costs, although it is expected the savings from this model would be somewhat offset by a reduction in user fees collected.
$352,000 - roughly $125,000 due to savings in utilities, chemicals, maintenance costs, and cleaning supplies and $227,000 in wages.
$639,000 - total savings from closing down the facility. Some costs will still be required to maintain the integrity of the building, support facility infrastructure, and provide security. These costs are estimated at $125,000,
- Under any of the options presented, there will be an impact on the public related to access to and use of the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre. If Option 3 is chosen, programs and bookings from the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre will need to be moved to the CGAC. This will decrease available public swim and lap times at the CGAC.
- The Westsyde neighborhood will be specifically affected by the loss of a recreation space that provides community and relationship building
- With the options related to elimination or reduced levels of service, there will be an impact on all aquatics staff, including Lifeguards, Recreation Facilities Attendants, and Customer Relations Representatives