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Mayor Says Pool Fees' Release Was a Mistake

The new and increased fees have not yet been approved.

Last week, a number of Maplewood residents received emails stating new fees for the 2012 season at the .

However, the fees have not yet been approved by the Township Committee.

"It was an error by the Recreation Department," said Mayor Vic DeLuca at the Township Committee meeting on Feb. 7.

Membership rates at the pool are proposed to increase approximately 30% over  2011 and were introduced at the Township Committee last night. The ordinance stating the new fees was passed upon introduction by a vote of 5-0; the new fees will have a hearing and go to a final vote at the Feb. 21 Township Committee meeting. No members of the public appeared at the meeting last night to speak about the fee increases.

At the Jan. 3 Township Committee meeting, this year in order to pay for debt service on the more than $1 million in bonds issued to pay for which will debut this season.

The improvements include two new waterslides, a new pool deck with better drainage, new dive platforms and diving boards, and handicapped accessible ramps into the pool.

DeLuca also noted theat the fees had been made more uniform than in previous years — with all early bird fees now $40 less than the full fee and last month fees at 50% of the full season fee.

"There has been concern about the caregivers fee," said DeLuca. "That is not a change from last year." He noted that the Family & Caregiver fee is still cheaper than a combined Family and Individual fee. Deputy Mayor Kathy Leventhal noted that the Pool Committee was looking into questions about teenaged babysitters at the pool and that there would be more discussion on this question "in future."

DeLuca said that more publicity about the improvements to the pool was forthcoming.

The proposed fees for 2012 are:

Membership Categories 3/15-4/30 5/1-7/31 after 8/1 Individual $200 $240 $120 65 and older $145 $185 $ 90 College student (18-23) $160 $200 $100 Couple $335 $375 $185 Family (3-7 members) $375 $415 $210 Family (8+) $460 $500 $250 Family & Caregiver $560 $600 $300

Guest passes will be $10 for adults and $5 for children. An adult book of 5 passes will be $40; a children's book of 5 passes would be $25.

The 2011 rates were as follows:

Membership Categories 3/17-4/30 5/1-7/31 after 8/1 Individual $145 $185 $80 65 and older $115 $155 $ 85 College student (18-23) $115 $155 $ 85

Couple

$250 $290 $130 Family (3-7 members) $280 $320 $155 Family (8+) $335 $385 $165 Family & Caregiver $400 $460 $215
Lauren Bright Pacheco February 08, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Family (3-7 members) $375 $415 $210 Family (8+) $460 $500 $250 Family & Caregiver $560 $600 $300 Again- the 'caregiver' charge is SUCH a rip-off. Caregivers are TAKING THE PLACE of parents during the week, NOT taking up ADDITIONAL space. Why not create a M-F only pass for employed caregivers?! As the fees stand, they flagrantly take advantage of working parents. Why would the town allow this? And why should folks accept it? It is flat out UNFAIR.
Lauren Bright Pacheco February 08, 2012 at 08:17 PM
For those who find the 40% 'caregiver' overcharge unfair, here are the email addresses of the Township Committee members - as well as the Rec Dept. Director - listed so you can cut and paste them easily into an email that expresses your opinion: v.deluca@twp.maplewood.nj.us, k.leventhal@twp.maplewood.nj.us, ILarrier@twp.maplewood.nj.us, JRyan@twp.maplewood.nj.us, mbrownlee@twp.maplewood.nj.us, recdirector@twp.maplewood.nj.us
Mary Mann February 08, 2012 at 08:26 PM
Lauren makes a good point: If you have comments, opinions, suggestions, complaints, contact your town leaders directly. No-one showed at the Township Committee meeting last night to protest — or applaud — the fees. But, even if you can't make it to a meeting, you can send an email.
A February 09, 2012 at 01:27 PM
And while we are doing that why not a just weekend fee for the people that work during the week and kids are in day care. I just figured it out and for our family of 3 it would be less for one of us to take our son as a guest then join--especially if there are a few rainy days. or . . . I just did the math and it would be less for one of us to join as a single and bring our one child as a guest.
Jen_S February 09, 2012 at 03:33 PM
I completely agree with Lauren. The caregiver fee is outrageous and that is why we did not join the pool in 2011 and it is doubtful we will join for 2012. Caregivers are part of the family and allow the kids to go during the week when parents need to be at work. If they can't take the place of the working parents ... then what is the point? There should not be an additional charge for a caregiver, they are part of the family. With such excessive fees - it starts to make more sense to explore other options. We are a family that does not use the pool much at all - maybe a few weekends and maybe during a week or two when our kids are not in day camp. It would have been easy income for the pool/township to have us as members - but it is not worth the expense for our needs ... the fees seem to break the "community" spirit. Maybe they should create another membership level for weekends only or someone who is likely to use the pool (with or without caregiver) 10 days or less. The only thing that makes the decision not to join difficult is that my kids LOVE the pool and it provides a great social environment for them to see the kids they know from school during the summer (and again, to reinforce the sense of community that is important to Maplewood).

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