Council endorses pool marketing plan

Published 8:04 pm Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, endorsed a plan to better market the Hildred T. Moore Aquatic & Fitness Center to increase membership and revenue for the city.

Council members also urged the city’s pool committee to develop even more suggestions to increase membership and revenue as part of the save-the-pool campaign. Under that campaign, the committee is tasked with raising $150,000 to help pay for replacing the pool’s dehumidifier, with the city providing a matching amount. Replacing the unit will cost about $300,000, not including the cost of installing the new unit in a different location that makes it easier to maintain and repair.

Council members Doug Mercer and Virginia Finnerty have concerns that if the committee does not raise all or part of its $150,000, it would leave the city “holding the bag” on covering the replacement cost. During Monday’s meeting Mercer said, “I think the point that Councilwoman Finnerty and the mayor are getting to is that if you look at the suggestions you have made, you’re not going to come anywhere near the $150,000. So, you’ve got to have a much bigger idea somewhere or you’re spinning your wheels to start with.”

Kristi Roberson, the city’s parks and recreation director, agreed with Mercer, but she said the suggestions offered so far are a “starting point.” The committee’s marketing recommendations include the following:

• hold a membership drive each January and June, waiving the $25 application fee;

• waive the $25 application fee for any corporation (organization) that donates at least $1,000 to the save-the-pool campaign and obtains a corporate membership for use of the center;

• provide six pool-party rentals at no cost for raffles, silent auctions or similar events each fiscal year;

• sell decorative tiles to raise money for the save-the-pool campaign at $100 per tile or $150 for two tiles.

Roberson said the committee continues to look for other options in regard to raising its $150,000 share for replacing the dehumidifier.

“This just the initial stage of a five-step process we’re trying to implement,” City Manager Bobby Roberson said about efforts to increase pool membership and revenue generated by the pool complex.







About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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