‘We’re bleeding dry’: Helena explores options following backlash over reduced pool hours

Nolan Lister

Helena’s Last Chance Splash Waterpark and Pool is facing a more than $200,000 increase in operating expenses from previous years, and the Helena City Commission is working to patch the financial leak so as not to reduce pool hours following complaints from residents.

As previously reported in the Independent Record, city staff and City Manager Tim Burton have proposed severely cutting back the hours of operation at the pool to further offset the high operational costs.

By opening an hour later, closing an hour sooner and closing during the weekends, the city anticipates saving about $80,000 on operations. Including those savings, the city still expects operational costs to increase by $120,000.

“One of the reasons why I proposed it the way I did is I have real concern when the pool budget, the operating budget increases by over $200,000 in one operating year. And how many years can we sustain that?,” Burton said during a May 3 city administrative meeting. “Because the pool budget as presented still shows an increase of $120,000 in operating budgets compared to last year.”

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