RARITAN, NJ - In what Raritan Mayor Zachary Bray termed, “kicking the can down the road,” the council decided to delay again a decision about opening borough pools and summer camp.

The mayor had advocated for making a determination not to open either the Basilone pool, the Frelinghuysen pool or the camp due to the pandemic.

“It would be the safe and prudent route this year,” he said.

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However, councilman Paul Giraldi suggested waiting two more weeks, until the council’s May 26 meeting to make a final decision.

“Let’s get the state’s perspective,” he said.

Bray countered that he didn’t see any real guidance coming from the state about this subject, and he said it would be left up to the municipalities. He added that he wants to let residents know as soon as possible what to expect this summer.

The council did agree that regardless of whether the pools are open, the work on the pool chlorination systems will go forward so they will be ready next year.

Some of the parents that had been working toward getting the summer camp opened were happy to hear that the fire marshal has checked out the pool house capacity and determined the absolute maximum occupancy is 40, but the suggested number of people is 28. Since the pool house is where campers and counselors go during inclement weather, that number was key to the continuation of the municipal run camp.  

Carrie Ann Youngman, an advocate for the camp, said the numbers are certainly in a good range.

“That’s a do-able number to work with,” she said.

Both Youngman and Kellyanne Gallagher, who also worked on a 52-page document of standard operating procedures for the camp, acknowledged that while there will likely not be a camp program this year, they’d like to see the process move forward for future years.

The parents that complied the SOP, submitted it to the council in March, but a query from the mayor indicated that most council members have still not reviewed it.

Bray asked them all to read through it so it can be discussed at the next meeting.

Gallagher also offered some ideas for children’s activities the town could run that would allow for social-distancing while serving as a recreational outlet this summer.  The mayor and council were onboard with the idea and Bray directed anyone with suggestions for recreational activities to contact Linda Shulte, community program and events coordinator, and ideas for sports activities to reach out to Andy Sibilia, team sports committee coordinator.