SPRINGFIELD, NJ — In a unanimous vote during yesterday morning's special session, the Springfield Township Committee authorized an agreement with the Summit Area YMCA to begin operation of a modified schedule for the currently-closed Springfield Municipal Pool.

The decision came on the heels of an announcement earlier this month from Mayor Chris Capodice that based on projected budget shortfalls of more than a quarter of a million dollars, the township would not be able to fully run and operate the pool and associated summer camp activities this year.

During the special session, Springfield Recreation Director Adam Lieb spoke about the benefits for the township should they officially enter into the agreement with the Summit Area YMCA.

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"In a short amount of time, what we're looking to do here [...] is provide this beneficial service for the public," Lieb said. "It would save the pool operation for the summer and the camp operation in a short amount of time using resources of the township that are available and the considerable resources of the Summit Area YMCA.

"It's a great agreement that will benefit the community members who are looking for some summer activities and childcare for their kids. If this goes through, we have an opportunity to provide a modified pool season and camp program for Springfield residents."

According to Lieb, the plan would involve a morning pool camp session from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m., followed by an afternoon pool session on weekdays, with a full day of pool session time on weekends. Additionally, the YMCA would take on the primary operation and related risks of running the pool, with assistance from the recreation department.

One other key point that Lieb noted was that the township will still cover the primary responsibility and cost of property and grounds maintenance, although he said that they were both tasks the township was slated for anyway.

In discussion before the vote, township committee members spoke about opening up, and the decisions that led to being able to salvage a portion of the season.

While there is no definitive date to the beginning of the pool and camp season, the township committee could confirm that the opening would be no earlier than next week.