Shoreline City Manager recommends permanently closing Shoreline Pool a year early due to significant budget constraints

Monday, June 22, 2020

Shoreline Pool
Photo courtesy City of Shoreline

From the City of Shoreline

Due to significant budget constraints resulting from the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City Manager is proposing that the Shoreline Pool be permanently closed a year earlier than anticipated. 

Council will discuss the recommendation at its July 13 meeting.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected individuals, families, and organizations at every level. 

The City is no exception. We have experienced significant financial and operational impacts since the start of the pandemic.

Our forecast shows a more than $6.2 million (16 %) loss in budgeted revenue in 2020. If the economic recovery is protracted, our loss of revenue could extend well into the future. 
  • We are currently forecasting additional revenue losses of approximately $2.15 million in 2021, 
  • $1.54 million in 2022, and 
  • ongoing losses of between 2% to 3% every year over the next eight years. 

We anticipate being able to address the 2020 shortfall through cost savings, expenditure reductions, FEMA funding to address COVID-19 expenditures, and higher than projected revenues from 2019. 

However, moving forward, absent more federal assistance for local governments, we will have to make tough economic decisions that could impact current City programs and services.

The Shoreline Pool needs significant repairs, maintenance, and upgrades to keep it operational. The annual costs to operate the pool exceed the revenue generated from our different swim programs by approximately $800,000 to $850,000 a year. The difference is paid out of the City’s general fund.

Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Because of the COVID-19 Pandemic and the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, the Shoreline Pool has been closed since March. 

If the pool were able to reopen at some time later this year, it would need to follow public health guidelines for social distancing, sanitation, and limited capacity, among other things. 

This could lead to increased costs and substantially reduced revenue, requiring an even bigger subsidy from the City’s general fund to keep it operational. 

After years of providing emergency fixes to keep the aging facility open, the City came to the difficult decision earlier this year to close the Shoreline Pool after the summer of 2021. 

The Shoreline Pool is a popular facility used by the Shoreline and regional community. We appreciate that it is an important community resource and closure will cause disruption to those who use it. 

Unfortunately, the facility has reached the end of its useful life. Faced with the pandemic related restrictions placed on pool operations, the age and maintenance needs of the pool, and our current budget shortfalls, we need to make tough economic choices. 

Closing the Shoreline Pool a year early will help save other ongoing programs that might otherwise need to be cut in order to meet the legal requirement to have a balanced budget.

The City placed a bond measure on the November 2019 ballot asking voters to fund a new Aquatic, Recreation and Community Center. Although the measure received a majority “Yes” vote (54%) it did not receive the required 60% “Yes” vote to pass.

The cost of a new facility was a significant concern for many residents. Many people asked the City to look at ways to collaborate with other agencies or private organizations to help bring down those costs. 

Over the next few years, we will look at several options for a new facility, including collaborating with other organizations in a joint venture. 

We hope to bring forward some type of proposal for a new Shoreline aquatic facility in the future.


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