Brian Bascue smiles and shakes his head in disbelief as he talks about the 2017 summer municipal pool numbers.
There is so much irony.
According to Bascue, the pool had the best month of July ever. But overall, the worst summer attendance numbers in more than five years.
"It is so weather dependent," Bascue said. "... I was surprised (about how low the numbers were) but it makes sense because of the cooler temperatures."
Again there is irony. A cooler than usual July led to a better month — fewer 100 degree days in the month brought more people to the pool. Bascue said when the mercury hits 100, people stay home.
But a cooler than usual August — with days that did not even break 80 degrees — led to days the pool did not even open. The water must reach 75 degrees, and this August there were several days it did not. Fewer days open led to an attendance drop.
"This is the worst August we have ever had," Bascue said during a Friday meting of the Newton Recreation Commission "Temperatures were down."
Final revenue and expenses numbers are not complete for the 2017 season. The pool's fiscal year will end Sept. 30.
And then came the final days of August, and a meeting of the Newton Recreation Commission. During that meeting, he told the commission he had been approached by city management for a discussion about the future of the public pool.
During that NRC meeting, Bascue said that the pool is in need of renovations, and it is reaching a point where it either needs repairs or shuttered.
In the days that followed, the idea of replacing the pool with a splash park was brought forward — openly discussed by commissioner Glen Davis who is opposed to the closure of the municipal pool.
Friday Davis was at a meeting of the Newton Recreation Commission. He listened to Bascue's report — that report gave numbers about losses incurred by the Recreation Commission (as high as $54,281 in 2013) and the low attendance for this year (12,547, the lowest in five years by about 2,000 people) along with numbers on water usage. Water is donated by the city. This year the city gave $7,342 worth of water to the pool — a five-year low. The five-year high was $10,519 in 2013.
Davis had a statement to make at that meeting.
"The commission has no intention to close the pool," Davis said. "It really was just food for thought. A commissioner was floating ideas out there. ... They can't believe how this has gone up."
Still, there wil be a meeting at 5 p.m. Oct. 24 involving the Newton Recreation Commission and Newton City Commission to discuss the future of the pool.
"We want to make sure the community is involved in this discussion," Bascue said.
Water usage, Municipal pool
2013 — 15,635
2014 — 14,384
2015 — 14,627
2016 — 16,389
2017 — 12,547
Pool losses recorded by Rec Commission
2013 — $54,281
2014 — $53,304
2015 — $49,800
2016 — $45,573
2017 — Revenue and expense figures are not complete for the 2017 season.