Some have asked about why our boiler had a problem in August - after all, it was brand new. The boiler issue is something that we needed to work on with our contractor. All pools are different, and hiccups can be expected as they get the boiler dialed into our pool. In this instance the boiler issue was related to water flow rate, which caused the boiler to run too hot, melting some switches. Fortunately, all items were under warranty and once the problem was discovered, the pool temperature was quickly brought back to a comfortable level.
We are pleased to report that in 2017 we managed to make some major capital improvements including remodeling the bathrooms and replacing the boiler without going into debt or raising membership fees. This was no small feat since we have historically operated on a zero cash basis (meaning we break even). We re-examined our financial situation and focused on decreasing spending and waste in order to make the needed improvements.
A number of things that kept the pool out of debt:
Increase in new membership & initiation fees.
Decrease in administrative spending including charging a credit card fee to those that used them.
Renegotiated rental agreements.
Changes to items that were costing us money, for example, after hours pool rentals.
Member donations through Go Fund Me. (Thank you to all who gave!)
Slightly reduced pool hours in August, our historically slowest month.
Better negotiated prices on chemicals.
Pool rentals in the off time/season to capture more revenue.
Minimal increases to property taxes due to our protesting.
We are are currently working on showing positive cash flow annually to insure we have money set aside for future improvements, and to open other sources of funding when necessary.
You may have noticed that all membership dues have increased in 2018 - Family Memberships by $21, and Single and Sustaining Memberships by $14. In addition to this increase, all memberships will now be charged a capital improvement/savings fee, set at $9 for 2018.
In 2017 our expenses were reviewed in depth. Unfortunately, our fixed expenses at the pool are increasing. With minimum wage and labor cost increases, our guard expenses have increased over $10,000 for 2018. We reviewed other options, and the rate we have settled on is very comparable with our competitors. Dues at the pool remained flat from 2013 through 2016. Membership income in those years did not keep pace with expenses, and the pool's reserves were utilized to cover the gap. This equates directly to the increase in membership rates.
Our bylaws require us to replenish our reserves. In 2017 fundraising was attempted as a tool to grow our reserves and cover necessary improvements. This helped cover an immediate need, but funds were not sufficient to give us a buffer. This is why we are adding an additional line item to annual dues. These fees allow us to safeguard against unforeseen maintenance requirements, and continue with capital improvements that will ensure the continued success of the SCCA pool. When the SCCA reserves are back in compliance with our bylaws this fee will no longer be charged, and dues will be the sole income source associated with annual membership.
As always, our financial statements are available to our membership. Please let us know if you would like more information regarding our financial status.