Recreation has strong year in Tama-Toledo

Jake Jacobson (right foreground) reports to memebers of the Tama and Toledo city councils meeting in joint session on the Family Aquatic Center and South Tama Recreation Trail on Monday night, Nov. 29. News-Herald/John Speer

TAMA NEWS-HERALD – Jake Jacobson, who heads the boards overseeing the Tama-Toledo Family Aquatic Center and the South Tama Recreation Trail, reported good years for both activities to a joint meeting of Tama and Toledo city councils Monday night. Held in alternating locations, the meeting is a requirement of the swimming pool by-laws and was held in Toledo Council Chambers this year.

Meeting together, it also provides an opportunity for the Trail Board to update the councils.

“They did a nice job this year,” Jacobson said of Aquatic Center manager Jeff Barker and concessions manager Diana Roeder. “We had a very good staff of lifeguards with no safety issues which is our primary purpose to have a safe pool,” he emphasized.

Jacobson said the Aquatic Center operating budget cost each city $54,000, well below the $71,000 which was the amount budgeted for.

He said total pool attendance was 15,880, up from about 14,000 in 2009.

Admissions, concessions and pool parties generated about $77,000 in revenues.

Total Aquatic Center operation costs are just over $1,000 daily, Jacobson said.

During the past swimming season, repairs were made to water slides at a cost of just over $7,000. The larger slide has presented problems since the Aquatic Center opened. Jacobson said the repairs were contracted with a different company.

The firm previously responsible for the slide maintenance had estimated a total of $24,000 in repair costs.

He also noted restroom repairs costing $1,500, replacement of pool grates as required by federal regulations at a cost of $6,000 and raises for employees were among expenditures.

He said the Aquatic Center Board is requesting the same budget for the 2011 year with up to a $71,000 contribution from each city.

He said the present members of the board who have terms expiring have agreed to continue serving. This announcement brought a round of applause from council members.

Recreation Trail

Jacobson said the six-plus mile South Tama Rec Trail is “close to getting done.” He said the organized effort for the project began over 10 years ago and the board began meeting in November, 2000, exactly 10 years ago.

The trail now encircles Cherry Lake southwest of the downtown Tama business district, and extends along the south and west sides of the