Just past the summer mid-point, officials say there's good reason to believe will move the decimal point in the right direction, perhaps even making money in 2012.
The in recent years, the village's municipal sand-bottom pool has cleared $328,270 in badge sale revenue as of July 9, according to Parks & Recreation Director Tim Cronin.
"The pool season is about half over, I feel we will most certainly break even or better this year," Cronin said Friday.
If counting money received from the , the pool has generated $343,270, according to officials. Graydon's operating budget for the current year is $347,000.
Records show the pool hasn't been in the black with consistency for years, often losing more than $100,000 annually.
With – from 6,000 in 1999 down to around 4,000 in 2006, dropping by 1,300 more in the following year, Patch reported in 2010) – a to Graydon's natural look, pushing for an RFP.
The on the request for proposals, citing a weak stomach in bonding a $10 million or more project with few certainties. In short, an assumed annual "loss" associated with the pool of $100,000 to $200,000 carried less risk in the minds of the council than a concrete pool that may very well have brought more people, but could have been a financial anvil if badge sales didn't rise dramatically.
The 2012 badge sale statistics undoubtedly represent a positive development for the village. Two years ago, Village Manager Ken Gabbert predicted that with such a strong 2010 season he saw a possibility that the pool could make money in 2012.
But with the violent and rainy summer that battered the pool's infrastructure and revenue stream in 2011 – – Gabbert's prediction looked something of a long shot. Now, he just may be right.
"Graydon is back," said a confident Marcia Ringel, co-chair of grassroots group Preserve Graydon Coalition (PGC). "We see an upswing in use as people escape the heat by cooling off and relaxing at the beach in our back yard. The more badges and day and guest passes sold, the more revenue for Graydon."
The blistering heatwave that has pushed thermometers into triple digits has been a boon to a cash-starved village in 2012.
"With the unusually hot summer we have been experiencing (I hope it continues), we hope revenue will continue above last summer," Cronin remarked. "There have been past years when the pool showed profit, it is a business that is heavily dependent on the weather..."
Water quality has been high this year, according to pool-goers and officials.
Parks & Rec staff have recorded no complaints this year of water quality issues, Cronin said. Algae has a tendency to spread quickly during bouts of hot weather, but Ringel said it has remained at bay this season.
Ringel said she's hoping officials will take advantage of the good fortune and strong sales by next year considering a reduction in the price of badges and guest passes, creating a family cap for the first time, mulling a student and nanny rate, re-instituting the late-season reduced price badge, while getting better at marketing the pool at various events.
"A push to encourage badge purchases next year would maintain the momentum," she said.
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