Look at other recreation districts for perspective – CARD is being mis-managed

14 May

In researching Chico Area Rec District’s proposed aquatic center, I thought I’d look at recreation districts in nearby towns. I was shocked at the comparison between CARD finances and Durham Recreation District. 

Here’s CARD’s 2014-15 budget:


Here’s the budget for Durham Rec Dist:


The first thing you might notice – CARD has a budget of about $7 million a year, while Durham Rec comes in at just under $1 million. Wow, eh?  That’s demographics for you – Durham only boasts about 5500 people, while Chico checks in at over 80,000. But, look – Durham’s median income is about $53,000/year, compared to Chico’s $43,000/year. Housing is also comparably priced in Durham, there’s just not as much of it. So, CARD gets a wad of tax money, while Durham gets a fraction as much.

So, why is Durham doing better, taking in more of their revenues from programs? Their programs are doing better, look at the figures. Their aquatics program is doing great, and their pool is as old as Chico pools. 

I’ve been to Dwight Brinson pool in Durham, years ago, when my kids were little. I remember it was alot nicer, just like friends had told me. At that time it was not uncommon for Chico moms to take their kids to Durham to swim instead of Chico pools. I lived within a block of Pleasant Valley pool at the time, so we had a pass and went almost every week day for a couple of hours. But, I went to Durham whenever I was invited. Brinson was cleaner, better staffed, the bathrooms were bigger and nicer, and everything was better maintained. The admission price was $1.25 as compared to PV’s 75 cents a head, but wow, you sure got what you paid for.

Chico Aqua Jets participate in tournaments at Brinson pool. Brinson makes quite a bit of money for Durham Rec District.  

I think CARD is being miserably mis-managed. 





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