The City of Edmonds and the Dale Turner Family YMCA have put together an innovative partnership that promises a rich summer of fun programs and recreation at Edmonds’ Yost Pool.
The city will continue overseeing maintenance, revenues and programming, while the YMCA will take over staffing. This means customers will register for the various programs and purchase passes through the City of Edmonds, and the YMCA will provide lifeguards, instructors, and other staff.
“This is a great arrangement that allows Yost Pool users to reap the benefits of the Y’s expert recreational staff while keeping the facility under the administrative control of the City of Edmonds,” said Carrie Hite, Edmonds Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Director. ” By positioning the community to benefit from the strengths of each, we all win.”
A big plus for the City of Edmonds is the financial savings. Running Yost pool for a single season costs approximately $210,000, while generating about $150,000 in revenue. The $60,000 shortfall is covered by the city’s general fund.
“By having the YMCA take over staffing, we’ll cut this shortfall by almost a third,” said Hite. “The combination of financial savings and the proven expertise of Y staff makes this a real win-win for Edmonds.”
The YMCA employs a full-time aquatics staff that they spread among several facilities, many of which operate year-round. By moving people between Edmonds and these other facilities, they create efficiencies that are not possible when operating a single seasonal pool. “It all means that by partnering with the Y we can take advantage of their staffing flexibility to save us money,” explained Hite.
In addition to general operating and maintenance expenses, the 40-year-old Yost Pool is getting some needed improvements to its physical plant. “We’re replacing the boiler this year,” said Hite. That work is ongoing, but will be complete in time for the pool to open in early June.
The Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Plan and Strategic Plan, recently adopted by the City of Edmonds, calls for both exploring partnership opportunities, and developing a more efficient operating model for Yost pool.
“Partnering with the YMCA is a strong start to putting this plan on the ground,” said Hite. “This arrangement promises to retain the high quality service our customers expect, save the City some money, and partner with a highly qualified, reputable entity in this community.”
— By Larry Vogel