Tony Reed
Del Norte Triplicate

At a special meeting July 7, Crescent City Council approved spending an extra $17,500 to keep the local swimming pool warm.

According to staff reports, the pool uses propane to heat water in the pool and the air in the locker rooms and natatorium. The cost of propane fluctuates throughout the year, similar to gasoline prices. Rates have risen sharply in recent months.

The impact on the budget is an additional $17,500 added to the current $485,855 pool budget from the general fund reserve.

Interim City Manager Mike Young explained propane rates fluctuate and may vary as much as 80 percent.

He said propane use at the pool increased about 23 percent, likely due to the colder weather.

“The two combined ended up with the expenditure being close to 50 percent, about 48 percent more than had been budgeted,” he said. “And frankly, with something you couldn’t really predict, it’s like trying to predict what the gasoline prices are going to be next year.”

Young said Blue Star Propane has been providing propane to the city at a discounted rate.

Public Works Director Eric Wier said staff would have to come back to the council with a proposal to change to another propane company but rates would be comparable to what the city is currently paying.

With no public comment, the council voted to add the increased cost to the fiscal year budget.