A Letter to Cranford Residents about the Community Pools
It was welcome news when Governor Phil Murphy announced that public and private pools are permitted to open on June 22 providing an opportunity for an important summer activity. There will be numerous regulations meant to keep pool members and staff safe during the COVID-19 pandemic that remains present.
However, we believe that with cooperation and by following safety precautions, Cranford residents will be able to enjoy the 2020 pool season. To accomplish this, the Township Committee had to make some difficult decisions. As you may know, Cranford is unique from most towns because we operate three community pools: Orange Outdoor, Centennial Outdoor and Centennial Indoor. These pools, managed by the Township Parks and Recreation Department, are operated by the Cranford Swim Pool Utility, which means fees and revenue from membership, pool rentals, swim lessons, kid’s activities and more, fund the $1.7 million pools operating budget.
The NJ Health Department guidelines limit us to 50% occupancy of the facility. In addition, we are not able to run many programs like the summer camps and are likely to see some decline in membership meaning less revenue. The Pool Utility cannot support operating both outdoor pools without being subsidized by all Cranford taxpayers. Therefore, the Township Committee has decided to open one pool.
Orange Avenue Pool, which will cost $576,500 to operate, was determined to be the best choice because it is a larger facility able to accommodate more people and still meet social distancing guidelines. We have already begun preparing the pool and grounds for the season that will start on June 22.
The complete State guidelines will be posted on the Township website but pool members should expect the following:
- Pool members must scan cards upon entering for a record in the event contact tracing is required
- Masks are strongly encouraged, except when in the pool (not for children under two years)
- Social distancing must be practiced
- No pool toys, like noodles, are permitted
- Members will have to bring their own chairs (pool tables and chairs will be removed)
- Foot covering required in bathroom and shower areas
- Pool membership open to Cranford residents only; guests not permitted
- No swim lessons or exercise classes
- No rentals or parties
The Township Committee, Swim Pool Utility and staff are committed to provide a safe and enjoyable summer season. Membership is open and we encourage you to sign up for pool membership online at https://register.communitypass.net/reg/index.cfm.
Check the Township website www.cranfordnj.org and sign up for the Township’s official newsletter that provides important information and updates about the COVID-19 emergency and other municipal services.
We look forward to seeing you at the pool.
Lucas Paine Kathleen Miller Prunty
Chair, Swim Pool Utility Deputy Mayor & Liaison to Swim Pool Utility
CC: Mayor Patrick Giblin
Swim Pool Utility members
Steve Robertazzi, Director Parks & Recreation