FOLEY -- A recent story from the Associated Press reported city pools across Minnesota end up losing money each year despite the number of people they attract.

So we checked to see if this was a problem in our own back yard.

Foley has been operating a swimming pool since the 1950's. City Administrator Robert Barbiansays while pools are great for the community, they can be a money pit.

Preparing the Foley Community Pool for opening day. Photo by's Jim Maurice

"Pools are great, you know they're fun and great for the kids but they are defiantly a loss leader and we are experiencing similar experiences to other communities," says Barbian.

He says there are high operating costs and maintenance every year when running a pool and swimming lessons are their biggest source of revenue.

Seasonally it costs about $115,000 to operate the pool, and usually they make about half of that cost back.

"Generally it's about $115,000 per year and generally we almost get half of that covered from our revenues from the pool," says Barbian.

Barbian says while they know the pool takes a loss each year, the community is willing to keep it going.

"Since the pool is paid off we just have the operating expenses we are losing and that's something the community has decided the local tax payer pays for the pool and supplements the cost of operating the pool for the community," says Barbian.

The fee to use the outdoor pool is about $4.00 per day. It is in operation for about four months.

Barbian says while operating a pool is expensive it is a great asset to have in the city.