Matt Satterly of USA Pools of Illinois sat down with members of the Spring Grove City Council on Nov. 20, explaining why he believed the city should contract with his firm.

The company offered a two-year contract to manage the SWIM Center for $68,740 per season. Swim dates in the agreement would be from May 24 through Aug. 18.

"I spent a couple of hours at the facility today and was very impressed," Satterly said.

"Our program is turnkey. We take care of the opening of the facility in the spring. We do all the hiring of the staff. We do all the training of the staff. All the staff will be hired and trained locally, including our aquatics director, who will be in charge of the operation on a day-to-day basis.

"We provide all of the chemicals and the daily maintenance of the facility. We handle the admissions, the concession stands. The only thing that would be in addition (to the contract total) would be any repairs and renovations.

"The fact that you have water features, zero entry, slides - all the things that you need to help generate the type of participation that you want is important," Satterly said, noting that drawing more youngsters is absolutely vital.

"You have all the room that we'll need to offer swim lessons and water aerobics, as well as lap swimming. Whoever designed it took very good care of you guys."

Mayor Saundra Solum asked Satterly where the nearest location to Spring Grove is that the company currently manages.

He replied that there were six in Chicago. Overall, USA pools managed over 400 operations last year, Satterly stated in his presentation.

Satterly said that the company predicts 15 to 20 percent in added revenue under their management, which would "help cut back on the cost of the operation." That's based upon more participation, he said.

Receipts from users would be handed over to the city each month.

Satterly said that one reason his company can make money running public pools is through bulk purchasing power.

Council member Lorilyn Dehning moved to accept the two-year contract after Satterly left.

During discussions, city attorney Joe Hammell said that he had reviewed the contract and found several items that the city should address.

He then went through a dozen changes to the pact, mostly dealing with liability, unusual circumstances, wages and pool closures.

Solum asked if the item should be tabled until those items can be addressed. Instead, Dehning asked to alter the motion to make it contingent upon USA accepting Hammell's suggestions.

It was seconded by Councilmember Rachel Storlie.

City Administrator Theresa Coleman presented a comparison between the amount of money budgeted for SWIM Center operations in 2013 and estimated costs using USA Pools.

The former showed expenses outpacing revenue by $85,514. The latter estimate showed costs being $88,748 over revenues.

Council member-elect Nancy Nelson voiced concerns over Minnesota Department of Health standards being followed and various forms of liability to the city.

"It is possible if managed properly to run that pool without too great a loss," she said.

Hammell replied that the contract lists minimum safety standards, including "local health codes." A sentence referencing State of Minnesota standards can be added, he said.

As far as liability concerns, in addition to those he already mentioned, Hammell said that the city already has liability coverage on the facility, and the contract requires $1 million in coverage to be taken out by USA Pools.

The motion passed by a unanimous vote, leaving the ball in USA Pools' court. Only one council member (Robert Vogel) was not present.