I want to take a moment to share with you a team financial update. As many of you know, we are a 501(c)(3) public charity operating as a non-profit corporation. Despite being nonprofit, we have significant expenses for which we are responsible in order to deliver you great coaching as well as clean, private, frequently available, and warm (but not too!) water for you to enjoy the sport of swimming. Our annual budget is approximately $13,000 and we endeavor to operate on a fiscally responsible zero-loss budget each year. In other words, we budget carefully so our income and expenses are equivalent over the calendar year.
For the past 3 years, our membership has been stable and our expenses roughly flat. The budget was therefore fairly predictable. On the revenue side, for the past 7 years or longer we have enjoyed roughly the same fee structure (semiannual = $250, etc). However, a big change occurred on the expense side of our budget at the end of 2014 and the beginning of 2015 when we unexpectedly lost our access to the WWC and CCA pools. This requires us to utilize the more expensive Asheville School pool exclusively. To cope with this extra expense, we have raised rates twice (semiannual=$275, now $300). We have little choice in this matter as there are not many other pool options that meet our criteria (although we are working on a couple for the summer, more to come). Of course we love our friends at the Asheville School and appreciate their loyalty to our team, but we depended on access to the cheaper pools for a few months each year to meet our expense budget.
The result of this additional expense is the most recent fee schedule published a few weeks ago. One of the items we eliminated is the punch-card option. The problem with our punch card system is that it is difficult to monitor/enforce (especially the expiration of the card), difficult to budget (number sold varies year to year), and is currently not generating significant revenue for the team. We debated this move quite thoroughly and although we want to provide a convenient option for the part-time swimmer the only practical solution is to go to a semiannual/monthly/drop-in three-tiered structure. We apologize for the increases, which have been applied to part-time and more frequent swimmers alike, and we hope you continue to enjoy the camaraderie, witty repartee, and occasional political debates that occur each day in practice.
For the Board, Jeffrey Owen, President