CEDAR GROVE, NJ - For the first time in memory, the Cedar Grove Town Pool will not open for the summer. The Town Council agreed at a staff meeting on Monday to keep the pool closed for the season.
The pool, which typically opens Memorial Day weekend, has been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. When Gov. Phil Murphy announced that municipal pools could open on June 22, the township had to review its options. Last year, the town pool generated $389,000 in revenue and the township provided $103,000 to sustain the pool. With the pool opening late, rate adjustments would have to be made. Additionally, the current recommendation is to not allow non-resident memberships due to COVID-19 and the out-of-town memberships at the Cedar Grove pool account for 40 percent of the pool’s revenue.
“Our recommendation is to not open the pool this year. We estimate there will be a financial burden of $350,000 to $400,000 on the township to sustain the pool,” said Township Manager Tom Tucci. “We’ve been trying to figure out any possible way to open the town pool. We really struggled with this. We turned this thing over 10 ways to Sunday.”
Additional challenges would be the capacity limits mandated by the state, which is currently 285 people at any time. Tucci estimated that 600-950 people enter the town pool on a hot summer day, with an average of 600 people at the pool at one time. Tucci said they considered a flat daily fee instead of a membership, but estimated the township would still be short $350,000 based on previous attendance.
“We have people out of work, struggling with their mortgage. To have a tax increase that hits people who are already struggling -- we just can do that,” Tucci noted.
“It makes me sad. The pool is the heart of the community. Growing up I lived at the town pool,” said Deputy Mayor Kerry Peterson. “I understand and I appreciate you looking at it every which way you could.”
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.
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