(Portland, OR) –
Mayor Ted Wheeler today announced that he will include funding for Portland Parks & Recreation’s Columbia Pool (7701 North Chautauqua Boulevard in Columbia Park) in his proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
“Columbia Pool is treasured by the North Portland community for swim lessons, water fitness, and as a neighborhood gathering place,” said Mayor Wheeler. “I’m pleased that we’re able to keep the pool open for another year and I appreciate the passion of the community, the work of Portland Parks & Recreation, and the partnership of my Council colleagues.”
While Columbia Pool receives about 60,000 visits a year, significant funding challenges remain. The building needs a new roof and heating system and other major capital repairs that could cost up to $5 million to fix. The pool will cost about $800,000 to operate this year while generating about $310,000 in revenue, so an additional $490,000 is needed to keep the doors open through June 2021.
Portland Parks & Recreation is preparing feasibility studies about repairing or replacing Columbia Pool in North Portland.
“Council is committed to putting Portland Parks & Recreation on solid financial footing,” Mayor Wheeler adds. “While work to secure new revenue continues, I’m glad that this pool will keep serving swimmers year-round in North Portland.”
For years, expenses have outpaced revenues, resulting in a backlog of deferred maintenance and closures citywide. The Parks Bureau has spent over a year working to realign and adjust operations to create a more sustainable funding model for the future of our parks system.