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Coronavirus dealing budget blow to Waterloo Leisure Services

Coronavirus dealing budget blow to Waterloo Leisure Services

From the Coronavirus update Northeast Iowa series
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WATERLOO — The city’s sports and recreation programs could face deep budget shortfalls due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Waterloo Leisure Services is projected to lose $385,000 in revenue by the end of April, mostly due to the shuttering of the Cedar Valley SportsPlex and Young Arena since March 17 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“Obviously it’s a serious situation with lost revenue,” Leisure Services Director Paul Huting told his board members Tuesday. “We’re hoping that (loss) can be partially made up through some form of assistance.

“We’re busily looking into options for that,” he added. “It’s been a serious hit to the SportsPlex and Young Arena’s revenue budgets.”

Part-time staff at Leisure Services facilities have been laid off. But the savings are not expected to come close to offsetting the revenue shortfalls.

The Cedar Valley SportsPlex received $116,000 in revenue in April 2019 from membership dues, daily fees and rentals. That is expected to be zero this year.

Another $134,500 in revenue is expected to be lost at Young Arena, with more than half of that coming from lost concessions sales after the Waterloo Black Hawks season was canceled. The sports programs are projected to lose $64,000 in revenues.

Recreation Services Manager Mark Gallagher said registration for spring and summer sports programs remains in limbo, and the possibility of the shutdown impacting the municipal swimming pools is real.

“Swimming pools are a concern,” said Gallagher, noting the city of Minneapolis has already decided to close its pools for the coming summer.

Waterloo has not made any decisions on whether to open the Byrnes and Gates Park pools this year.

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