Outdoors

Somerville Opens Pools to Help Residents Keep Cool

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The Spray Park adjacent to the pool at Michael Lepp Park is a popular attraction; the borough plans to construct a second spray park at John Long Park and hopes to have it open by end of summer. Credits: Rod Hirsch
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SOMERVILLE, NJ – Not everyone streams down the Garden State Parkway to the Jersey Shore seeking relief from those hot summer days.

Closer to home, one of the best anecdotes for 90-degree temperatures and high humidity is a dip in one of two municipal pools operated by the borough, both of which will be opening on Saturday for the 2017 season.

Water quality in both pools was tested Friday afternoon and received a passing grade, according to Somerville Recreation Director Kathy Gerndt. Testing is done on a regular basis.

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“We’re looking forward to another fun and safe summer,” Gerndt said.

The Michael Lepp Park Pool on Park Avenue and the Claude Walck Park Pool on Walnut Street will be open seven days a week beginning tomorrow through Aug. 20.

Hours at Lepp Park are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, noon-4 p.m. Wednesday, 3-7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, noon-5 p.m.

Hours at Walck Park are Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday, noon-4 p.m.; Tuesday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Friday, 3-7 p.m. and Saturday, 1-5 p.m.

Another advantage – the borough pools are free, unlike the shore towns, where badges are required to be purchased before you can walk on the beach to make your way to the ocean.

The Somerville Recreation Department does require residents to register to receive a free badge which must be worn at each of the pools; badges are not available on site. Badges must be obtained from the recreation department at its office in Borough Hall, 25 W. End Ave. during weekday business hours, or online at https//register.communitypass.net/Somerville. Registration is open through August, according to Gerndt.

Non-residents planning to use the pool regularly during the summer need to register and pay $50 per summer for a family pass. Members can purchase single use guest passes for $3 per guest at the office or online.

Registration forms will not be accepted at the pools.

“These pools are great assets that the town has,” said Borough Councilman Jason Kraska, liason to the Recreation Commission. “A lot of towns don’t have community pools.”

In addition to the two pools, the borough maintains the Spray Park adjacent to the Michael Lepp Pool. Kraska said the town expects to have another spray park operating by the end of summer at John Long Park, across from the basketball courts on Mercer Street, next to the Brookside Apartments.

The borough obtained a $70,000 grant to construct the spray park, with bids going out next week.

Bids are expected to be returned within two weeks for Borough Council to review and approve. Construction should take six weeks, according to Kraska.

The Recreation Department wil also supply board games and arts and crafts materials at both pools, “just a few more things to keep the kids occupied when they’re not swimming,” Kraska said.

Last summer, the borough registered 1,957 residents and sold badges to 168 out-of-town residents.

Further information is available by calling the Recreation Department at (908) 704-6985.

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