Operating Subsidy

Information available for modern Metro Vancouver 50m pools indicates that the operating subsidy is currently in the range of $780,000 – $1,120,000 (Attachment #3 of the October 2011 report to Council).  In a study of fifty-two 50m pools across Canada (2007), Asbell Management Innovations Inc. noted that 50m pools operate for roughly $350,000 to $500,000 per year.  This suggests that the estimate of $1.5million to operate a 50m pool at Harry Jerome is grossly inflated.

Attachment #3 includes information for 50m pools in Coquitlam, Surrey, New Westminster, Kelowna and Nanaimo.  However, the only 50m pool that is comparable to the proposed 50m pool at Harry Jerome is the City Centre Aquatic Complex (CCAC) in Coquitlam.  CCAC includes the features proposed for Harry Jerome (except the 5m and 7m dive towers) and is conveniently located within Coquitlam (close proximity to traffic corridors and bus routes).  Harry Jerome is centrally located near a major highway and transportation corridor, a mere 15 minutes drive from any subdivision in North Vancouver.  It is also in one of the fastest population growth areas in the City of North Vancouver.  The other four facilities in Attachment #3 do not have these features.  Thus, the only fair comparison is with the CCAC 50m pool in Coquitlam.

Based on the 2007 Asbell Management Innovations Inc. report and the close resemblance to the physical features of CCAC, it is felt that a new 50m pool at the Harry Jerome site should operate like CCAC and with a comparable operating subsidy.   The operating subsidy for Harry Jerome in 2010 was $770,000 or virtually the same as the CCAC, a 50m pool, which had an operating subsidy in 2010 of $780,000.

If, however, the operating subsidy should exceed the current budget, then the City has a number of options to deal with this and ensure no impact on the North Vancouver Recreation Commission’s annual operating budget.

  • Solar panels and geothermal from Lonsdale Energy Corp.
  • Parking revenues and more flexible Admission price packages
  • Increased programs = increased revenues
  • Increased public usage = increased revenues
  • On-site commercial and new residential property tax revenues (e.g. $600,000 based on ~$1500 taxes/unit for 5 each of 5-storey and 3-storey condominiums)
  • Event hosting (pool rentals generate > $100 thousand)
  • Health Club fees of on-site condominiums could include an additional fee for access to recreation centre (as is currently done for the Atrium condominiums to allow access to Pinnacle pool).