Tuesday, February 19, 2008

King Forest Pool Survey Indicates Strong Support for Significant Change

The Kings Forest pool survey results are in!

Residents will recall the survey sent out in December with your assessment notice. Just to refresh our memories why the survey was conducted: anticipated cost increases in 2008, in particular, for lifeguard staffing.

However, the pool issue has simmered for years, with residents raising concerns about pool expenditures at board meetings and in the 2007 Kings Forest focus group, citing low attendance and the number of homes already owning pools(54%). The survey was intended to gauge resident reaction to proposed alternatives.

Click here for the full results, but here's a synopsis:

Out of 260+ households, 139 responded, representing 53% of the total KF households.

▪ Overall, 70% want to change the pool's operation, compared with 13% who want it to continue as is.
▪ 73% endorsed reducing pool hours to 1-8 p.m., of which 65% ranked this option their #1 or #2 priority.
▪ 60% wanted to eliminate lifeguards, of which 56% ranked this #1 or #2.
▪ 50% elected to close the pool; of which 49% ranked it #1 or #2. However, this alternative attracted nearly equal opposition.

The Committee identified the following factors as influencing the responses, primarily due to the structure of the survey:

Reducing pool hours – Anticipated savings were not offered -- as with the lifeguard elimination option @ $15,000 -- which may have impacted the responses. For example, if residents were told the savings from reduced hours would be $4,000, some may have chosen other alternatives.

Eliminating life guards – Since the survey did not clarify whether multiple options could be chosen, responses could appear contradictory, such as saying NO to eliminating lifeguards, but YES to closing the pool.

Closing the pool - The survey didn’t capture demographics on residents, so we don’t know the correlation, for example, between residents who support closing the pool and those who have their own pools.


The Revitalization Committee recommends the board of trustees

1) Request the pool vendor quantify the following:
▪ Hours of highest pool usage to determine the optimal timeframe to be open. (Or provide evidence for the 1-8 p.m. timeframe offered in the survey.)
▪ Savings associated with reducing hours from 1 – 8 p.m. with full staffing by lifeguards.
▪ Savings associated with reducing hours of pool operation AND reduced lifeguard staffing. Example: 3-4 hours per day only (with lifeguards); or, open the pool for 6-7 hours each day, but only staff for a few designated hours with lifeguards.(Of course, this assumes a consistent timeframe is published for when lifeguards are present, the schedule is communicated to residents, and insurance impacts are evaluated.)

2) Not sign the contract with the pool vendor until these alternatives have been examined.

3) Pursue identifying the costs associated with key access.

4) Communicate these findings to residents and gather further input on narrowed options and resident demographics.