NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The pool will be ready for the swim season, Eric Leininger, Treasurer of the Community Pool, told the council at the Wednesday, Feb. 15 meeting. He attended the meeting with the pool’s Vice President Tom Foti to give the council its annual presentation.
Two seasons ago the pool club made several facilities improvements, including a renovated playground area. In total the pool spent between $250,000 and $300,000 on the projects. Last year the club updated its underline structures, Leininger said. The entire lower pool was resurfaced with a Mica-based compound which he described as “having a nice blue color.” Besides being aesthetically pleasing the new surface will “maintain the usability of the pool for seven, if not more years,” he explained. We made the right investment he said regarding the $150,000 project.
Leininger complimented the team of 30 men and women who participated in the pool renovation project and who completed the job two weeks prior to opening day. The pool has also been upgraded with other items such as plastic lawn chairs which been replaced the composite chairs.
Revenues were flat last year at approximately $700,000. During the past couple of seasons the membership has shifted to guest passes instead of pool membership, Leininger said. The Pool Board of Trustees would rather see the membership numbers go up. Leininger would like to see the family membership grow back to approximately 1,000. The “soft cap” for family membership is 1,200, and three years ago the pool membership was “approaching” that critical number.
Recently there has been a decline of non-resident membership numbers. The fees for non-residents were raised two years ago, which may have contributed to the declining figures. The family membership fee is approximately $450 per season for New Providence residents. Guest passes are $10-12 per person per visit. The non-resident family membership fees start at $665 per season.
Foti speculated that the recent turmoil at one of the Berkeley Heights pools may cause an influx of new pool members.
In order to attract more resident members the pool is planning an ad campaign prior to the start of the season. Leininger estimates that families that purchase full memberships are more invested in the pool community.
Councilman Robert Robinson asked if the new basketball courts have attracted more members to the pool. Foti said that he has noticed more older kids coming to the pool not just to swim but for other activities, including basketball. Robinson noted that the joint basketball court project with the borough and the community pool is “a highlight” of the town.
Leininger also noted that the Swim and Dive team has grown to nearly 300 members. This is “a giant undertaking” as the pool has to be ready for practices and hire coaches, life guards and “lane guys”.
Mayor Al Morgan expressed his gratitude to the community pool for allowing its parking lot to be used for off-season community events. “It means a lot to us,” he said. Councilman Jim Madden added that the Municipal Alliance partnered with the pool for a successful teen event.
New Providence pool is “one of the best pools around,” Councilman Michael Gennaro said and added that it is “an outstanding facility.”