Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center

The Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center in Anacortes. (File photo, July 2020)

Things are getting back to normal at Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center, though a lot of variables could still happen in the coming year, pool Executive Director Rob Peterson said.

The pool’s commissioners approved the 2022 budget at a meeting Nov. 18.

The pool had to draw on its cash reserves over the past couple years as the pandemic hit and caused officials to first close and then limit access. This year, things will likely break even in a roughly $1 million operating budget, Peterson said.

Next year, that number will go up a bit as things move back toward normal. Hopefully, that means the pool will be able to build up some cash reserves, he said.

The pool expects to bring in roughly $1.4 million in revenues next year, Peterson said.

That includes $810,000 from the recently approved replacement maintenance and operations levy, plus $42,000 from rental property income, $339,336 from various aquatic programs and $102,788 from the fitness center. The remaining roughly $2,700 is from things like concessions and locker rentals.

Leaders also plan to spend about $1.25 million next year.

A little more than half of that goes to wages and benefits for the pool’s employees. Other expenses are utilities (about $121,000), building maintenance ($62,000) and operating costs ($52,000) and equipment ($21,000).

Things are not back to normal, but operations are increasing back toward pre-pandemic levels, Peterson said. In fact, users are about 75% of what they were before the pandemic hit, he said.

“This year started off slow, but it has picked up,” Peterson said. “Patrons are coming in, and we have been busier.”

User fees pay a good portion of the programs that are offered at the pool and fitness center. The maintenance and operation levies go directly toward operations and building upkeep.

The pool board still wants to build a new pool at some point, but the current building still must be maintained, Peterson said.

Peterson said the staff offers programs people want. Virtual fitness classes were not a thing before the pandemic, but became useful substitutes when people could not attend in person. Some people who don’t yet feel comfortable coming back into the facility are still taking them, he said.

As it rebuilds its programs, the pool is able to take on more instructors.

The pool now employs about 36 people, while a full staff is about 50, Peterson said.

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