Many have newer equipment and offer cheaper rates, particularly for people who don’t want to swim, he said.
In response, the town in the last year or two began offering patrons the chance to pay separately for the use of the pool or the gym .
The facility’s financial problems predate the Covid-19 pandemic.
Revenues from membership fees, pool rentals and other sources have slipped slightly since 2016, to $1 million in the town’s 2020 adopted budget, while expenses to run the facility have risen to more than $1.4 million in the current year’s budget.
But that figure doesn’t include benefits paid to Aquatic and Fitness Center employees. Taking into account this and other costs such as pool chemicals, town officials said, the annual deficit approaches $600,000.
“The losses are just getting too high for us to sustain,” Tonawanda Supervisor Joseph Emminger said.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the facility had six full-time and 186 part-time workers. Today, while the gym remains closed, the venue has two full-time and 91 part-time workers.
The town, following state public health guidelines, closed the facility in March. The town reopened the pool on Oct. 1 – without the whirlpool, steam room and sauna – but opted to keep the gym closed.