As community support for the Carolina Beach Aquatics Center continues to take full hold, Councilman Bob Lewis offered his thoughts on the project via a comment on our Facebook page:
Bob Lewis (September 21, 2012):
With my financial business background I am always scrutinizing projections and proposals of this sort as it relates to our town government. Some I have calculated to be "White Elephants" but I must say when I did the research, ran the numbers and reviewed the proposal for the Aquatics Center it came out conservative in its revenue projections and spot on in its expense projection.
This is a solid financial and business plan which if managed by a good Aquatics Manager will produce enough revenue to offset the expense line. The concept of an Aquatic Center and not just a community pool makes this a Win-Win for the residents of Carolina Beach. Additionally, potential County Parks bond money could make the current projections even better. The town can borrow money over the life of the facility at rates so low it provides the town with very little downside risk if any.
Various members of council have already been contacted by Swimming Teams, Senior Water Aerobic Instructors and others who can not find space to rent for their programs in the area.
A community pool has been a project that the town has had as part of its Parks and Rec Master Plan for over 14 years, but up till now there was no way to fund it. This project now has the means to generate enough revenue to offset the investment in building and maintaining the center.
This same council led by Steve Shuttleworth developed and implemented the property management plan to generate enough revenue to offset all of its annual costs including our note payment for the property formerly acquired for the now non-funded pier project. We are way above our revenue projections for the first year of this plan. We know how to make good financial decisions which provide value to the residents while managing the downside risk and cost to the taxpayer.