James Rada, Jr.
Rebuilding the Emmitsburg Community Pool proved to be a good investment for the town, and judging by the number of people that used it this summer, it was well-liked by residents.
The town closed the community pool for the 2017 season in order to undertake a $369,500 rebuilding of the pool. The town commissioners had initially only been planning on renovating the existing pool, but a pressure test of the plumbing showed that it needed to be replaced. Also, the beams beneath the pool were damaged and needed to be replaced.
Besides a new pool, the pool house has a fresh coat of paint, and the pavilion was treated to remove the bees. The parking lot was repaved and repainted. The new pool’s depths range from 1 foot to 10 feet.
For the two seasons that the pool has been reopened, it is proving less costly to operate, in part, because it is not leaking water like a sieve.
Town Manager Cathy Willets told the commissioners in September that, not including the season pass holders, total attendance for the 88 days the pool was open was 9,911. The town also earned an average of $112.63 per day for admissions. This compares to 2018 when total attendance was 8,404 for 86 days, with the town earning an average of $97.72 per day.
The increase in revenue the town received was $7,258 for the year or about 33 percent more than 2018.
“That’s significantly higher than 2014, 2015, and 2016, before the renovations occurred,” said Willets. During those years, attendance was around 5,300 people a year for 65 days of operation.
Commission President Cliff Sweeney also pointed out that for the 35 days the concession stand was open, it averaged about $75 a day for the 3-4 hours it was open each day. It earned $2,700, while the food cost only $1,140. The profit from the stand goes toward Community Heritage Day. He said if it could be run by another organization that has the volunteers to run it, the concession stand could be a large fundraiser.
“You wouldn’t believe the people from Frederick who come up here to use the pool,” Sweeney said.
Besides Frederick, people are also coming from places like Fairfield and Taneytown and paying out-of-town prices to use the pool.
He said the reason they are willing to travel further and use a pool not in their community is that it is cleaner, quieter, and they enjoy the atmosphere and staff.