GLEN ROCK, NJ - Calling it a "pride and joy" of the borough, the Council voted to close the municipal pool this summer citing staff safety and social distancing concerns within the small area where the pool is situated on Doremus Avenue.
The decision comes as yet another COVID-19 casualty after the state was closed down for more than three months to curtail the spread of the virus that has killed eight people in the borough and almost 13,000 people statewide since March.
The Council approved the opening of the pool during its June 10 meeting in which the Council said it would open the pool on a limited basis, even at a possible loss of $25,000.
Councilman Rob Dill said he "wrestled" with closing the pool, because having it open has a positive effect on the public at large, but he could not reason through the safety issues of keeping the pool area disinfected while children played in close proximity.
It was a matter of thinking about the public at large, whether they attended the pool or not, according to council president Amy Martin.
"It's a cultural shift for Americans to think about others, I hate to say it," Martin said.
Borough Administrator Lenora Benjamin confirmed the borough would lose "tens of thousands of dollars" if the pool were to open for the summer. "This is a major revenue source for us," she said, referring to the annual anticipated budget line item.
The pool was slated to bring in $350,000 this year, but even when the borough cut that to $150,000, it would have operated at a loss this year, Benjamin said.
The upkeep on the pool, even when dormant, will cost taxpayers. At this time, the exact amount of any loss has not been determined.