Kingsport Times News Wednesday, July 23, 2014

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Phillips: Aquatic center more successful than city imagined in first year

January 21st, 2014 10:54 pm by Matthew Lane

Phillips: Aquatic center  more successful than city imagined in first year

Ned Jilton II photo.

KINGSPORT — For the first eight months of operation, the Kingsport Aquatic Center is seeing some of its expenses trending under budget, such as salaries and water, while other expenses are trending over budget, including gas, electric and marketing costs.

However, more people have utilized the facility than originally expected, and the estimated city subsidy is running just under the $300,000 projection.

The Kingsport Aquatic Center is a 46,000-square-foot, indoor pool/outdoor water park facility co-located with the new YMCA, located behind the Cattails Driving Range off Wilcox Drive. The center opened on May 17, 2013.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen heard an update on the center’s financials during a work session Tuesday afternoon  from Chris McCartt, assistant to the city manager and essentially the city’s point person on the project since its inception.

McCartt gave city leaders a “snap shot” of the facility, offering a breakdown of revenue and expenses for the first eight months of operation.

From May 1 through December 31, McCartt said,  revenue at the aquatic center is just over $1 million with expenses coming in at $1,278,000. Originally, Kingsport officials estimated a yearly subsidy for the facility to be $300,000.

For YMCA members to have access to the aquatic center, the YMCA has agreed to pay the city 10 percent of its membership fees. McCartt said the city had projected the figure to be $150,000 for the year, but the amount will likely be closer to $250,000, given that the YMCA’s membership has jumped by more than 8,000 during the past year to 12,500.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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