Colfax’s City Pool Faces Problems with New City Budget
COLFAX, WA —
A bleak start to the new year for one city in our region. Budget cuts may force the city of Colfax to shut down its pool. Right now, Colfax's city pool is closed for the winter. But now the city is facing a $32,000 shortfall in its new budget. It could be closed for good because officials say the pool is the first thing to cut.
"We have other priorities we need to spend tax dollars on, so the pool is one more of a discretionary item. It's an important facility and it's something that we want to take a look at long term, said city administrator Dodd Snodgrass."
He says half of the pool operation is labor. But with Washington's minimum wage going up to $11 an hour, it's just another expense added.
“The amount of revenues we were able to raise, and admission and season passes. It just doesn’t cover that expense."
He also says sales taxes are gone which are 25 percent of the city's revenue in the community. Property taxes are also down.
"We took some additional amount that we were allowed. Property taxes and just other sources. It's challenging."
Snodgrass says the pool is important, but it isn’t the only thing in the parks department that needs funding. City parks also need money for maintenance, funds that the city doesn’t have. But steps are being taken to save the pool from closing.
"We have till the end of March to work on it, and we're supportive of that, and in the meantime, we're going to look at levees or other opportunities we have to raise dollars at the city level."
Snodgrass also adds almost every surrounding municipality has a city pool, and city council will work to ensure Colfax has a place to keep cool. The pool possibly shutting down for the summer isn’t a permanent solution. It would only be for the upcoming summer.