The study analyzes the operating costs of 39 public pools

Before building a pool, the community should weigh its financial stakes, consult a study on the costs of municipal pools published by the Association of Financiers, Managers, Valuers and Local Authority Managers (Afigese), the Financial Observatory and local governments. public administration (OFGL) and Angers Loire Métropole. Especially since the explosion in energy prices has forced some communities to limit their hours of operation or even close their water centers entirely, sometimes permanently. Based on a comparative analysis of thirty-nine pools with different profiles, the study draws a number of lessons.

Whether a swimming pool is operational or not, it “costs society simply by existing” because of the initial investment. Therefore, after construction, it is necessary to optimize its operation and predict usage strategy and prices before opening, so that it works according to the public service profession. Thus, extending opening hours reduces the net cost per admission, while increasing attendance and therefore the service provided to the population. “Thus, it is possible to reconcile the interests of users and taxpayers, moreover, they are often the same people,” the study notes. Depending on the type of facility, the study observed between 7,600 and 390,000 visits per year, with central pools receiving more (183,000 visits) than those outside (71,000 visits).

In addition, the territorial approach should be broader than a municipality or group of municipalities to avoid competition and locate the swimming pool where it meets the needs. Let me also say that the purpose of public swimming pools is to teach children to swim. However, with the pandemic, the CM1/CM2 generation has been deprived of it for almost two years – creating an increased risk of drownings at sea, especially in the summer.

The study details total costs, then combines depreciation costs and operating costs. The highest personnel costs (50%), depreciation (22%) and liquids – water, electricity, heat (17%) come. Equipment, maintenance and contracts account for 11%. However, there are big differences: staff costs, for example, can vary from 13% to 70% of total costs, while fluids can vary from 8% to 34%. Pool staffing costs are higher (52%) than public service delegations (DSPs) (39%).

Total operating costs, excluding depreciation, which average €3,300 per day (€10 per pass), range from €513 to €8,049 per day. For central pools, it is higher than for peripheral pools (€2,400 per day).

Operating costs, including depreciation, average €4,250 and range from €880 to €11,840 per day. According to the participants, its weight per pass is 3 euros more than the calculated cost without taking into account depreciation.

Finally, we arrive at the net worth, taking into account depreciation, but also the receipts (admissions, lessons, clubs, schools, sales of swimwear, etc.); it is these final operating costs that remain the responsibility of the society. It reaches an average of 3,390 euros per day (10 euros per pass). Depending on the participation, the net cost varies from 4 euros to 40 euros per pass. It is higher for peripheral swimming pools (14 euros per visit on average) than for central pools (8 euros).

The average net cost is €3,390 per day (between €822 and €9,910 per day). It can reach 4100 euros per day for central pools and 2710 euros per day for peripheral pools. The revenue collected reduces the calculated total cost per link (including depreciation) by 4% to 56% (ie from €1 to more than €5 per link).

Given the importance of these costs, the authors of the study note that the electric shock absorber that went into effect on 1er January may not be enough to ensure the supply of existing water equipment by then.

Mary Gasnier

Education Profile

39 pools belonging to 11 communities.
Its area varies between 250 m2 At 2,814 m2, 34 are managed directly and 5 by the state service delegation (DSP); 19 serve as central pools and 20 serve as neighborhood or peripheral pools; 28 have multiple pools and 11 have a single pool. They were built between 1936 and 2017; 27 pools are from before 1990.

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