The Town Board was expected to vote Tuesday, Feb. 18, on whether to implement an online system that would enable residents to register online for parks and recreation activities.
The contract for the service would be with Capture Point, the parent company of the website Community Pass, and would cost the town $13,500 for 12 months.
If the resolution passes, residents would no longer have to go to the Parks and Recreation office to register for programs.
Parks and Recreation Superintendent James Martorano Jr. and Capture Point director of sales Tim Bracken presented the idea to the Town Board at its work session on Tuesday, Feb. 11.
“Bringing Community Pass into our community and allowing our residents to sign up for recreation online...will also help my staff with a really easy way to use the point-of-sale system in my office,” Martorano said. “We win on the front end and the back end working with Community Pass and signing this deal.”
Community Pass currently serves 400 municipalities across the United States and has been operating the cloud-based platform for 17 years.
Convenience is a main factor of the website, which has the ability to register all household members’ information including age, gender, emergency contacts and things such as T-shirt sizes for sports teams, as well as preferred nicknames.
Another advantage is it eliminates user error. For example, if there is a program available for children from 8 to 10 years old, it will only allow the individual to select and register members of the family who are between those ages.
“Currently we have a system where everything is manual,” Martorano said. “You literally have to come into our office from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and bring a check or a credit card and fill out a piece of paper. For some residents, that can be difficult to make it there on time and fill out all the paperwork, whereas now, for the first time you’ll be able to, from the privacy of your own home, sign up for our recreational programming, the pool, camp, and you’ll be able to pay for it online.”
All programs available to residents would be listed on the website.
Bracken showed the board the process of registration, which took less than 5 minutes.
“Two-and-a-half minutes instead of finding the time to go and standing in line,” Supervisor Matt Slater said. “This makes it that much easier and more efficient both for the user, which is our residents, but also our staff.”
Bracken said that Community Pass would also reduce labor costs for the town and residents are able to obtain tax information right on the website.
Councilwoman Alice Roker said that this is beneficial for people who are at work and who, to unwind, want to take a yoga class.
Now they could go online on their phones and register for the classes that take place the same night.
Martorano said that towns without this online service have seen a large decline in adult registration for recreation programs. He said this new platform would not only benefit children and seniors but adults, as well.
“To give adults the ability to sign up for programs is a huge opportunity for them; it’s something they haven’t been able to do in years,” Martorano said.
Bracken said that he has seen a 95 percent migration to online registration for recreation programs after introducing Community Pass to municipalities.
Councilman Vishnu Patel raised the question of data security, to which Bracken replied that they have never had a data breach and the company does not profit from distributing individuals’ data.
“Contractually, you are the owner of your data,” Bracken said. “We don’t use any of your information. It is completely secure and it is entirely yours. It’s something we kind of hang our hat on. You know it’s kids, it’s families; you don’t want to be giving out that information.”