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City of Florence to distribute Florence Aquatic Center survey to city’s citizens; input will guide decision-making

The City of Florence is mailing out surveys this week to gather public input as to whether or not the City should continue operating the Florence Aquatic Center or to redevelop the site for an alternate community use.

The surveys are being sent through U.S. mail and should begin arriving in mailboxes early next week.

“We are committed to being good stewards of the community’s tax dollars and take great care to use those funds wisely,” said Eric Hall, public services director for the City of Florence. “Community preference is also an important consideration as to how some of our more discretionary funds are allocated. The results of this survey will play an important part helping determine how to best invest funds currently directed toward the Aquatic Center.”

Florence Aquatic Center

Hall further explained that after completing a meticulous review of costs required to operate and maintain the Aquatic Center compared with the number of people using it, City Council made a preliminary recommendation to replace the seasonal facility with a new community resource that would be available to all residents and visitors year-round.

However, because the Aquatic Center is a valuable resource to those who use it, Council wants to gather community input to assess public preferences before making any final decisions.

City Council is asking community members to consider the following when responding to the survey:

• The Aquatic Center is the only municipal pool within 10 miles of its location. All other nearby pools are private and require annual memberships for access.

• Between 300 and 400 children typically participate in swim lessons at the Aquatic Center each year.

• The facility is home to the Florence Hammerheads swim and dive team. There are typically between 80- 
100 children on the team each year.

• The City pays roughly $600,000 annually in pool operations, management, lifeguards, and other staffing. 
Season passes and daily entrance fees cover less than half of these costs.

Taxpayer funds have 
been subsidizing the loss which averages approximately $300,000 per year.

• As the facility ages, increased tax dollars will be required for maintenance and up-keep.

• The Aquatic Center is used just 10 – 12 weeks of the year. This equates to a cost of approximately 
$7,200 to $8,600 per day.

• The average number of daily users ranges from 500 to 600, which represents approximately 2% of 
Florence’s population.

While considering these factors, City Council has also conducted some initial exploration into possible replacement options. One of the most attractive options is creating a new community park and event space, similar to Cincinnati’s Smale Park and Washington Park and Summit Park in Blue Ash.

Admission-free and open year-round, a new park could include an adventure playground for children, open and shaded space for recreation and relaxing, an interactive sprayground with pop-up jets for cooling off in warmer months, a performance stage, and event space for hosting community festivals, public classes, and seasonal events such as farmers markets, fall fests, ice skating, and garden shows. It could also include rentable areas that can be used to generate revenue.

The survey contains 11 questions and is being sent to all city residents and businesses who pay water bills to the City of Florence using the mailing addresses they have on file at the City.

Any taxpayer who does not receive a survey through the mail can come to the Florence Government Center at 8100 Ewing Blvd. to request a provisional copy.

All completed surveys must be returned in the City-provided pre-addressed envelope by September 24 to be considered valid. City Council will share the results of the survey at their regularly-scheduled council meeting on October 26.

Any questions from community members related to completing the survey should be directed to the City of Florence Public Services Department at (859) 647-5416 or Eric.Hall@Florence-KY.gov.

City of Florence

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